Author(s): Charley Harper
The Rocky Mountains by Charley Harper (American, 1922–2007)
Charley Harper’s whimsical paintings have delighted art and animal lovers for more than sixty years. Harper (1922–2007) developed his unique style while a student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the Art Students League in New York City. His distinctive use of simple geometric shapes, patterns, and vivid colors—a style he defined as “minimal realism”—succinctly captured the essence of each creature he portrayed.
Harper’s posters have been published by more than fifty nature- and conservation-oriented organizations, among them the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve (Costa Rica), the Cincinnati Zoo, Byrd Polar Research Center, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, the Michigan Audubon Society, the Hamilton County (Ohio) Park District, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, the Edge of Appalachia Preserve, and the Wilderness Society. The Rocky Mountains, created for Rocky Mountain National Park, was one of ten posters Harper was commissioned to create for the National Park Service.
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