The Modern artist and illustrator Charley Harper is perhaps best known for his geometric representations of birds, and specifically cardinals, but we at Fabulous Frames & Art are rather partial to his whimsical depictions of insects. As the largest Harper dealer in the world, we have had the privilege of viewing even Charley’s rare prints up close, and here are some of our favorite insect-themed prints.
Born in Frenchton, West Virginia in 1922, Charley Harper studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he met his wife, the artist Edie Harper. During his long and distinguished career, he illustrated numerous books, including The Golden Book of Biology, magazines such as Ford Times, as well as many prints, posters, murals, and other works. His work illustrated aspects of the natural environment, and Harper often created works for environmentally focused organizations, among them the National Park Service; Cincinnati Zoo; Cincinnati Nature Center; Hamilton County, Ohio Park District; and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania.
Harper was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations. He called his style “minimal realism,” capturing the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. Using graphic shapes and bold colors, Harper distilled and simplified complex elements. His nature-oriented artwork is often contrasted with the realism of John James Audubon and the simplicity found in Inuit Art.
Cincinnati-based Fabulous Frames & Art is a family-owned business and the world’s largest dealer in the work of Charley Harper, including his books, serigraphs, lithographs, giclee prints, and posters. We are proud to also carry work by Charley’s wife Edie Harper and their son Brett Harper. Other artists we represent include John Ruthven, G. Harvey, John Stobart, Mort Kunstler, Michael Blaser, and Charles Frace, among many others.