Irving Harper (July 14, 1916 - August 4, 2015) went to school to pursue his dream of becoming an architect, but since he graduated during the Depression from New York's Cooper Union, there weren't any jobs, so he ended up moving into industrial design. From 1947 to 1963 he worked as a design director for the George Nelson Office and became one of the key creatives behind the look of Herman Miller designing the company's logo and advertisements (despite not being trained in graphic design). His creations such as the 1949 Ball Clock and the 1956 Marshmallow sofa, shaped and defined the style we know today as Midcentury Modern.
|IRVING HARPER'S LOGO FOR HERMAN MILLER, 1947.|
|IRVING HARPER'S MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENT FOR INTERIORS, 1950.|
|IRVING HARPER'S MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENT FOR INTERIORS, 1952.|
|IRVING HARPER'S MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENT, 1952.|
|IRVING HARPER'S MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENT FOR INTERIORS, 1960.|
In 1964, Harper left Nelson's company to start his own business. He retired in 1983 and began focusing on his sculpture work. He would often use simple construction paper and Elmer's glue to create his complex sculptures, the last of which came in 2000 - when he claimed he ran out of room to put them inside his house. After decades of keeping his designs private, Harper agreed to display his sculptures at The Rye Arts Center gallery.
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