WOW, Check out these pic's + works from the Mid-century designer Irving Harper’s farmhouse in Rye New York. His sculptures – made from scraps of paper, cardboard, matchsticks, and then secured with glue – are scattered throughout the house.



Artist + designer  




If you’re unfamiliar with Irving Harper, let us brush you up. Harper created many of the now iconic modernist designs for Herman Miller and George Nelson. His designs are some of the most recognizable from the modern era, including the Ball Clock, the Marshmallow Sofa, and even the Herman Miller logo itself, a logo that has remained virtually unchanged since its original conception in the late 1940s. While his influence on modern design is indisputable and worth noting, it’s these images of his most personal work that have us intrigued.

While living and working in New York City in the 1960s, Harper began making paper sculptures as a way of relieving stress, using the most elementary tools to create these small works (they are secured with simple Elmer’s glue), creating the complex out of the ordinary. He used such varied works as Picasso’s Cubist pieces, to African and Southeast Asian art, to even pre-Columbian pieces as inspirations. Harper eventually stopped making his paper sculptures when he ran out of space in his home to display them. Rather than selling them to create space for new pieces, Harper simply stopped making them five years ago, explaining, “I did not need the money, but mostly because I admired them and I liked to have them around”.
courtesy of 


Even though Irving Harper has ceased making his lovely paper sculptures and has also retired from the world of popular design, he has received a lot of deserved attention over the last few years. The above video was recently created for Herman Miller’s WHY design series and there’s also a 2010 New York Times write-up by Guy Trebay on Irving Harper that you can read more here.

& Special Thanks to M. Boodro  @ Elle Decor for finding him.

Nelson clock 
designed by Harper

clock designed by Harper

Another beautiful clock designed by Harper

Marshmallow Soft designed by Irving Harper 1954 



1886 -1966 


Jean Arp

b. 1886, Strasbourg France, ; d. 1966, Basel
Jean Arp was born Hans Arp on September 16, 1886, in Strassburg. In 1904, after leaving the Ecole des Arts et Métiers, Strasbourg, he visited Paris and published his poetry for the first time. From 1905 to 1907, Arp studied at the Kunstschule, Weimar, and in 1908 went to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian. In 1909, he moved to Switzerland and in 1911 was a founder of the Moderner Bund group there. The following year, he met Robert and Sonia Delaunay in Paris and Vasily Kandinsky in Munich. Arp participated in the Erste deutsche Herbstsalon in 1913 at the gallery Der Sturm, Berlin. After returning to Paris in 1914, he became acquainted with Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Amadeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. In 1915, he moved to Zurich, where he executed collages and tapestries, often in collaboration with his future wife Sophie Taeuber (who became known as Sophie Taeuber-Arp after they married in 1922).

In 1916, Hugo Ball opened the Cabaret Voltaire, which was to become the center of Dada activities in Zurich for a group that included Arp, Marcel Janco, Tristan Tzara, and others. Arp continued his involvement with Dada after moving to Cologne in 1919. In 1922, he participated in the Kongress der Konstruktivisten in Weimar and the Exposition Internationale Dada at Galerie Montaigne in Paris. Soon thereafter, he began contributing to magazines such as MerzMécanoDe Stijl, and later to La Révolution surréaliste. Arp’s work appeared in the first exhibition of the Surrealist group at the Galerie Pierre, Paris, in 1925. In 1926, he settled in Meudon, France.


In 1931, Arp was associated with the Paris-based group Abstraction-Création and the periodical Transition. Throughout the 1930s and until the end of his life, he continued to write and publish poetry and essays. In 1942, he fled Meudon for Zurich; he was to make Meudon his primary residence again in 1946. The artist visited New York in 1949 on the occasion of his solo show at Curt Valentin’s Buchholz Gallery. In 1950, he was invited to execute a relief for the Harvard Graduate Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1954, Arp received the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale. A retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1958, followed by another at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, in 1962. Arp died June 7, 1966, in Basel.  

- courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum

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