Irving Harper - Design New York Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection of the artist
    Wright, Chicago, "Irving Harper: Paper Sculptures," January 21, 2016, lot 160
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Michael Maharam, ed., Irving Harper: Works in Paper, New York, 2013, pp. 60, 63

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1947, American designer Irving Harper began working for the design firm George Nelson & Associates where he was assigned, among other projects, to the Howard Miller Clock Company account. Each year, Harper designed a range of wall and table clocks for the company, many of which are now considered icons of midcentury American design and are still in production. Beginning in 1963, Harper began to create artworks out of construction paper as an escape from his professional life. Up until 2000 he created more than 300 of these works, all of which he lived with for the rest of his life. The present lots are an example of his works in construction paper, and they are particularly important and rare because they also incorporate the ceramic bodies of clocks that he designed in 1953 for the Howard Miller Clock Company. There are only four known examples of such works. Harper transformed these ceramic frames by gluing facial features constructed in paper to the reverse of the clock bodies, creating these truly imaginative and fantastical forms.

Property from a West Coast Collection



Painted ceramic, painted paper.
7 x 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (17.8 x 15.9 x 10.8 cm)

$4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for $3,150

Contact Specialist

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New York Auction 9 June 2021