Museum open Weds–Mon, Sea Center on Stearns Wharf open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
June 13, 2023

Curious by Nature: Works of Charley and Edie Harper Now at the SB Museum of Natural History

SANTA BARBARA, CA— On June 3, 2023 the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History opened the art exhibit Curious by Nature: Works of Charley and Edie Harper (organized by Springfield Museum of Art and Fowler Artistic LLC). The bright, bold, geometric imagery of Charley Harper is made for nature-lovers. On display in the Museum’s Courtyard Gallery, 86 serigraphs form a parade of striking wildlife featuring the playful sensibility of Charley and his wife and artistic partner, Edie.

“Charley Harper's whimsical renderings of nature encourage the viewer to think beyond an animal's shape and color and consider their behaviors and environment,” said SBMNH Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Krista Fahy, Ph.D.

Born on a farm in West Virginia in 1922, Charley Harper was enthralled by the surrounding wildlife. He developed his style in the context of midcentury modernism, focusing on animals and nature. His method was to distill an animal’s form into its most basic essence of color and shape. Often finding drama in even the most everyday subjects, his approachable art combines elegant forms with shrewdly observed details. The works in Curious by Nature span the late 1960s to the early 1980s, from the heart of the Harpers’ careers.

Curious by Nature is kid-friendly and contains a dedicated space for children to create their own geometric interpretations of animal life and read about nature. For those who want to take home some of Charley’s charismatic critters, a beautifully curated collection of books, clothing, wall décor, accessories, and stationery is available for purchase at the Museum Store.

This exhibit is included with Museum admission; Members are always free.

Download Press Release (PDF)