At the age of 98, Irving Harper is ready to enter the art market.
At the age of 98, Irving Harper is ready to enter the art market. In a gesture of generous support for The Rye Arts Center, Harper has agreed to donate for auction one of his whimsical, never-before-seen paper sculptures. This is the first time that a Harper sculpture has been made available for sale by the design genius.
Widely recognized for his mid-century designs while working for the George Nelson Office, Harper is less well known for the innovative works of paper that he created on his own time. A selection of these works is now at the RAC gallery in an exhibition that opened in September, and has since had its closing date extended twice due to popular demand. “Irving Harper: Mid-century Mind at Play” opened to rave reviews and continues to attract art lovers of all ages. It closes January 24.
With a personal collection that numbers well over 400, Harper personally selected a colorful and vibrant snake to be the first, and perhaps only, of his works to make its way into the art market. The sculpture is comprised of hundreds of hand-cut paper diamond shapes, encircled within a plexiglass case (24”x20”x 7.5”) that Harper created specifically for the piece. The whimsical serpent is now in the center of the Rye Art Center gallery, ready for viewing.
“This moment in art history is not lost on me,” explained Helen Gates, RAC’s Executive Director. “Mr. Harper is a creative genius. The first-time auction of any artist’s work is always exciting, and to have it happen here at The Rye Arts Center is an honor. We are grateful for Irving’s generosity and all that it will make possible for our gallery and outreach programs.”
The live auction of the Harper serpent will take place during a celebratory cocktail party on Saturday, January 10 from 5-7 at The Rye Arts Center. Tickets are $50. Sealed bid submissions will be accepted through January 7. The minimum bid is $5,000.
Full details on the event, ticket price, and auction information may be found on the RAC website, www.rye artscenter.org, or by contacting Helen Gates at 967-0700, ext. 27 or firstname.lastname@example.org.