Monday, June 18, 2007

Charles Harper in Childcraft

Oh Happy Day!

On Friday I finally located a set of Childcraft books in a little thrift shop in Grimsby. Ever since I first found a random batch of these incredible books about a year ago I've coveted a complete set. The sheer quantity of artwork and artists represented in the few volumes I owned left me feeling half-crazed with curiousity about who might have done work in the other books.

Well now I know... and WOW... you're gonna freak when you see all the beautiful artwork I'll be bringing you in the coming weeks and months!

For starters: Charles Harper. If, like me, you were unfamiliar with this illustrator/designer's elegant style until now, then its my great pleasure to introduce you to his work.

If you were already a Charles Harper fan, hopefully these pieces are new to you.

Unfortunately, Harper passed away only a few days ago. But he was much loved and celebrated right to the end. My pal, Ward Jenkins, recently posted about Harper on his always excellent blog The Ward-O-Matic, where he provides lots of great info and links for Charles Harper fans - new and old - to check out. I encourage you take a look!

For me, Harper's style is incredibly striking... both inspirational and educational. His wonderful design sense brings a truly impactful quality to an already masterful and thoroughly modern technique.

I've got a couple more of Harper's Childcraft illos, as well as larger versions of what you see here today, in my new Charles Harper Flickr set.


  1. Leif whats the publication date on your set of Childcraft?
    I got some from 1966 and some from 1973. I'm pretty sure my 1973 set has these Harper illustrations.

  2. Hey John;

    This particular set is dated 1964 ... but the random volumes I have from later years do indeed reprint many images from this set. :-)

  3. What a find! Can't wait to see what treasures you post for us.

    Thanks for doing what you are doing and please keep it up.


  4. Hi Leif,

    I just found this video of Charley Harper from November. He shows how he draws his cardinals. (Sadly, Harper died just a couple weeks ago, on June 11.)


  5. Thanks for your comments, Steve and Jennifer :-)

  6. You know, I grew up with that entire Childcraft set, but somehow forgot that Harper did some illos for it. We had a 1970 edition. I loved those books. I've been planning on scanning some of the few volumes, but now I don't have to!

    Looking forward to seeing more, Leif!

  7. Looking forward to seeing more.

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