Louisville, Kentucky: Frame House Gallery, 1974. Limited Edition. Oblong Octavo. (17 x 21 cm.) 151 pp. 1974. Illustrated dust jacket. Sage-green cloth with titles stamped in white and graphics in black on front, verso and spine. Short closed tears to jacket, small chip to verso, not affecting text. Very slight bowing to front board. All else bright and tight. Signed in pencil on half-title. Very Good. Item #26
Charles "Charley" Harper is too easily compared to John James Audubon due to his illustrations of animals and birds, in particular. But, let us compare him, more closely to that of N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell as they all amaze us with their ability to walk that delicate line between fine and commercial art. Harper's talent as an artist, his "minimal realisim", his balanced, beautiful, colorful elegant illustrations of the natural world were first recogized in the "Ford Times"; a publication by the Ford Motor Company created to promote exploring the natural beauty of the country by car (naturally). Employed by the "Ford Times" for 40 years, Harper illustrated over 30 covers, and hundreds of colorful graphics over 120 issues from 1948 until 1982. Only in his "later era" did he become associated as a naturalist. His reputation surged when Frame House Gallery began distributing his designs in the 1970s and designer, Todd Oldham, reintroduced his work in books, fabrics and posters in the early 2000s. This classic limited edition book, signed by the artist, reproduces 60 of his classic illustrations.