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Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper makes its New England debut at the Montshire.

Oct 05, 2012
For Immediate Release

"Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper" makes its New England debut December 1, 2012 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 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 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.

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.