You might not know the name Charley Harper, but it’s possible that the midcentury artist’s colourful work introduced you to many wonders of the natural world. Now many of his pieces are available as furniture to bring Harper’s flora and fauna into your living room.
Harper’s beautiful illustrations of the animal kingdom appeared in a wide range of publications, from elementary school science books to
grown-up travel magazines. My introduction to Harper was through my copy of The Giant Golden Book of Biology. I’ll never forget looking at this page over and over and over, trying to piece together how humans fit into the grand evolutionary scheme of things:
A new collaboration with Land of Nod brings Harper’s work to life as a series of the most adorable quilts, rugs and posters, all produced in collaboration with designer Todd Oldham (who also collected many of Harper’s pieces into a gigantic monograph in 2011; Harper died in 2007).
A rug from the Land of Nod collection
Harper’s original piece for the Audubon Society
What made Harper’s work so stunning is that although his work was simple and stylised, he always remained scientifically accurate. That’s also what is so lovely about these pieces: they are exceptionally true to Harper’s original art, right down to the colour and detail. Here are a few of my favourites, which are all available now.