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Virginia Living Museum
Traveling Exhibit

 Charley Harper Title

Pfhwooooooo image

The whimsical and delightfully colorful works by master illustrator and artist Charley Harper (1922-2007)are now available for rental through the Virginia Living Museum. The exhibit first debuted February 27, 2010 through April 25, 2010 and met with rave reviews. Harper's work has fostered environmental stewardship in those who view his work and his creativity takes you on a artistic and environmental journey shared by people of all ages. The exhibit is centered around the personal collection of Executive Director of the Virginia Living Museum, Page Hayhurst and her family. 

Charley Harper's life-long love of nature inspired his work in this wonderful collection entitled "Beguiled by the Wild". Harper was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters an book illustrations.  He called his style "minimal realism," capturing the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. Using graphic shapes and bold colors, Harper distilled and simplified complex elements.

This traveling exhibit also includes interactive art activities that educate visitors in Harper's style (tangrams, large puzzles, alphabet art table and rubbing stations).
Ladybug Lovers

His nature-oriented artwork is often contrasted with the realism of John James Audubon and the simplicity found in Inuit Art. Harper used many media in his artwork, though he is best known for his serigraph prints. Best known for the children's book “The Golden Book of Biology,” Harper was an extraordinarily prolific graphic designer contributing his unique, geometric style to a wide range of publications. This exhibit is sure to delight and entertain the art lover an animal lover alike!

Exhibit Contents Includes:
  • 23 Framed Serigraphs
  • Artwork Labels
  • 1 Framed National Parks Service Poster
  • 6 Rubbing Stations
  • 4 Tangram Activities
  • 1 Wall Puzzle
  • 1 Table Puzzle
  • 1 Serigraph DVD
  • + 1 DVD featuring Charley Harper’s interview with Todd Oldham

  • 1 Exhibit Entrance Sign

  • 1 Intro Panel
  • 7 Interpretive Graphic Panels (18"x 18")
  • 1 Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham
  • Golden Book of Biology Harper Illustrated text book with display vitrine
  • PLUS: Education + Support Manual including K-12 activities for teachers
  • Size + Specifications Up to 100 Linear Feet
  • Booking Period: 10 Weeks
  • Security: Limited
  • Fee: call for details 757.534.7427 (discount for AZA or AAM accredited institutions - deposit required at time of booking)
  •  visitors rear
     wide view
    A selection from the 23 serigraphs for rental are shown below:

CH signage over door
Rubbing stations
Tangrams station 2 Charley Harper Intro sign
 Lady bug photo board
 Tangrams station1
 puns sign  Serigraph sign
 visitors  natural partners wall
 Dam Diligent Beaver  

Dam Diligent

Issued 1975

The Beaver’s work ethic is a part of our national heritage. He’s that character we all have a gnawing feeling we ought to keep as busy as. And indeed some of us have kept so busy that we’ve taken away his job of impeding and impounding the free-flowing waters of America. But when it comes to cost-benefit ratios and environmental impact statements, he’s better than the Corps of Engineers by a damsite. So how can you best preserve a pristine stream? Leave it to Beavers.



Issued 1977

If anthropomorphism didn’t exist, it would have to be invented for the Dolphin, the fun-loving marine mammal with the Mona Lisa smile, the biggest tease in the seven seas. For it’s downright unscientific to say he is playful, inventive, humorous, loyal, friendly, helpful, intelligent and just plain cute, even as you and I. And it’s heresy to translate his whistles and clicks into words, but it’s perfectly obvious that he’s trying to tell us something: HAVE A GOOD DAY!


Pelican Pantry

Issued 1982

The gall of some gulls! Catch this scenario: the Brown Pelican dives into a school of fish and comes up with a pouch of protein; the laughing gull, hanging around for a heist, swipes some mullet for his gullet. Poor pelican – gulled again. “Ha, ha, ha,” laughs the laughing gull, who always leaves them laughing. Wouldn’t you think the plundered pelican would get wise to this pickpocketry?  He's not the biggest brain in the brine, but he has been through lots of schools.


 Blue Jay  

Blue Jay Bathing

Issued 1971

Here’s your friendly neighborhood loudmouth, big on law and order, publishing WANTED posters in stereo.  The Blue Jay is always where the action is because he starts it. A roving tomcat snaps a twig, a drowsy owl shifts his weight, a black snake changes his calligraphy – off goes the blue-tailed burglar alarm, rounding up a posse for the big chase. But sometimes silence is golden. Like when you’re bathing in the brook, naked as a jaybird.

 Savoring Sycamore  

Savoring Sycamore

Issued 1972

This bird had to be named the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. What else could you call a yellow-bellied bird that drills a pegboard girdle around a tree to sip the sap (sycamore is one of 277 flavors he favors)? You can call yourself a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, too, anytime you’re tired of being a Monkey’s Uncle. Just be sure you don’t call anybody else a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Except maybe a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

 Piscine Queues (fish and

Piscine Queues

Issued 1989

If you can’t brush after every meal, better queue up regularly at the local cleaning clinic. Tiny Neon Gobies make a good living as dental and dermatological technicians for residents of the reef, venturing fearlessly into fang-filled caverns to dine on ectoparasites that thrive on their clients’ teeth, gills and scales. Look! In the barracuda’s mouth! Is that goby psychotic? No, just symbiotic. While the clients don’t tip, they never gobble the gobies. They all mind their P’s ‘n’ Q’s.


Sept. 25 - Oct. 31, 2010
Children's Museum of Richmond
Richmond, VA

April 25 - July 15, 2011
Memphis Zoo
Memphis, Tenn.

Dec. 10, 2011 - March 2, 2012
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Philadelphia, PA

March 11 - June 1, 2012
Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure
Salina, Kansas

Dec. 1, 2012 - Feb. 3, 2013
Montshire Museum of Science
Norwich, Vermont

Sept. 21, 2013 - Feb. 24, 2014
Lake County Discovery Museum
Libertyville, Illinois

April 8 - June 12, 2013
Leigh Yawkey Art Museum
Wausau, Wisconsin

March 15 - May 4, 2014
Virginia Living Museum

For Scheduling Information Contact:
Kasha Lang, Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23601
Phone: 757.534.7427