Press Contact: Beth Krusi, 
Director of Marketing & Communications
Montshire Museum of Science, One Montshire Road, Norwich, VT 05055 

802-649-2200 x222 | beth.krusi@montshire.org

Montshire Museum Hosts two Charley Harper exhibitions

Dec 11, 2012
For Immediate Release

Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper and Cartoonists' Take on Charley Harper: Graphic Work from The Center for Cartoon Studies exhibitions make their New England debut at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont.

View works by master illustrator and artist Charley Harper (1922-2007) whose life-long love of nature inspired his work comprising the exhibition Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper on display from December 1, 2012 through February 3, 2013 at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont.

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 is compared with the simplicity found in Inuit art.

Harper used many media for his artwork, but he is best known for his serigraph prints. Creator of the well-known children's book “The Golden Book of Biology,” Harper was an extraordinarily prolific graphic designer, contributing his unique, geometric style to a wide range of publications. He also created interpretive displays and “bio” posters for many nature-based organizations, including the National Park Service and the Cincinnati Zoo.

“We’re so pleased to be hosting this exhibition here at the Montshire,” said exhibits director Bob Raiselis. “Even museum visitors who don’t know about Charley Harper will recognize and appreciate his iconic style. His work is a unique interpretation of the natural world, and his art has inspired countless artists and graphic designers.”

The exhibition consists of 23 serigraphs along with hands-on art activities based on Harper’s style, including tangrams, a large puzzle, and rubbing stations.

When making arrangements to feature Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper, Montshire’s exhibits department began thinking about additional ways to enhance the visitor experience.

Conversations with The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS), in White River Junction, Vermont, led to the creation of a unique, contemporary exhibition, Cartoonists' Take on Charley Harper with work from their faculty and students. CCS created a series of one-page comics about an aspect of the natural world, using Charley Harper's basic visual technique of incorporating geometric shapes and patterns.

"Charley Harper was able to both simplify the natural world through playful abstraction, and tell a story with a single image—abilities to which every cartoonist should aspire." noted Jason Lutes, faculty member at The Center for Cartoon Studies.
Cartoonists' Take on Charley Harper: Graphic Work from The Center for Cartoon Studies will be on display alongside Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper at the Montshire Museum of Science December 1, 2012 through February 3, 2013.

Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper was created by the Virginia Living Museum. Creation of the exhibition was supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Newport News Arts Commission.

The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) is America’s premier cartooning school and studio located in the historic village of White River Junction, Vermont. CCS programs include a two-year Master of Fine Arts Degree, one- and two-year certificates in cartooning, and annual summer workshops. Faculty and visiting artists include many of today’s most celebrated cartoonists. CCS has received national acclaim for its work and prominent mention in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and other publications. For more information, visit: cartoonstudies.org.

The Montshire Museum of Science is a hands-on science center located on 110 acres in Norwich, Vermont. Visitors will enjoy more than 100 interactive exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, technology, and more. The Montshire is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas).