When you think of 1950s Atomic Age design, a handful of images probably pop into your mind: The Ball Clock. The Marshmallow Sofa. The Sunburst Clock. What you probably don't realize is that the designer of these Mid-Century Modern icons spent decades living in obscurity, filling his upstate New York farmhouse with 300-some whimsical handmade paper sculptures of animals, Pre-Columbian and Southeast Asian figures, Cubist abstractions, and African masks.
But in a few weeks, Irving Harper and all of his delightful creations will come into the light, thanks to a new Skira Rizzoli book, Irving Harper Works in Paper. This full-color tour of Harper's personal sculpture collection is the result of an effort by Michael Maharam - who first visited Harper's home in 2001 - to preserve these unique works of art.