Designer Todd Oldham rediscovered American Modernist Charley Harper and his illustrations for school biology text books in the 1950s.
Many believe it was Mr. Oldham’s interest in Mr. Harper that revived the octogenarian’s career during the last years of his life, (He died in 2007, at 84).
After meeting the illustrator in 2002, Mr. Oldham assembled a monograph on him, “Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life,” and put him in touch with Ammo Books, which published several new titles featuring his work, including “Charley Harper ABC’s,” and reissued an older book, “Charles Harper’s Birds & Words.”
Mr. Oldham is exploring other outlets for Mr. Harper’s illustrations. A line of tableware for Fishs Eddy features the illustrator’s images of aquatic life on glasses, plates and serving pieces.
“When I look at wildlife or nature subjects, I don't see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see... endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.”
Todd Oldham, born October 22, 1961, is an American-born designer and president of L-7 Designs Inc.
Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life