Travel to National Parks with These Charley Harper Posters

August 4, 2016

Thinking of traveling to a national park this summer? In addition to being prime time for outdoor exploration, August is American Artists Appreciation Month and the National Park Service’s (NPS) centennial month. Even if you can’t swing a national park trip, Charley Harper’s nature-oriented prints can take you there.

West Virginia-born, Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper (1922-2007) is beloved for his highly stylized interpretive artwork. In the 1980s and early 1990s, NPS commissioned him to illustrate the wildlife of our parks. Based upon his cross-country travels and the stimuli of nature, Harper produced a 10-poster series in his trademark minimalist, geometric style. Four of those eye-catching renderings—Alpine Northwest, Atlantic Barrier Islands, Canyon Country, and The Rocky Mountains—are available through GPO.

024-005-01047-5Alpine Northwest—a bald eagle lords over his dominion, representing Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades National Parks.

Atlantic Barrier Islands024-005-00982-5—marine birds skirt along shifting bodies of sand and white-tipped tides that one could find on Fire Island, Assateague, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, Cumberland Island, and Biscayne National Park.

024-005-01064-5Canyon Country (Large Version)—the American Southwest’s dizzyingly high pinnacles, buttes, and mesas are a signature of the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and the like.

The Rocky Mountains (Large Version)—a beaver drinks at a pond that reflects the landscape of the great Continental Divide. 024-005-00967-1

It’s quite remarkable how Harper’s compositions use shapes to imaginatively depict an entire ecosystem. Bold colors and whimsical lines will brighten a schoolroom, playroom, breakroom, workroom, any room. Each one takes you to a corner of our country’s public lands. Celebrate American artistry and the past 100 years of national parks with Charley Harper’s tribute to wild, enchanted America.


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 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

Charley Harper Posters

April 7, 2010

It’s easy to become blasé about the things you deal with on the job. For years, I’ve been seeing a variety of National Park Service posters whose design was along similar lines. They depicted stylized birds and animals, evoking, at least for me, a sort of Native American sensibility. I admit, though, that this is more thought than I actually put into them. If asked, I would have surmised vaguely that the stylistic resemblance was due to some kind of “look” the Park Service was trying to achieve, rather than because they were the work of a particular artist.

Recently, we reprinted a number of these posters and our content acquisition staff kept referring to them as “Charley Harper” posters. Then we got an inquiry from the depository library side of the house about “Charley Harper” posters. My first response: Who’s he? Well, Charley Harper (1922-2007) was a noted American artist, particularly esteemed for his wildlife posters, prints, and illustrations in a style he described as “minimal realism.” He’s also an eminently collectible artist, so once again Government publications suddenly appear in a new guise,  far removed from the tired old stereotype.

These posters are sold by stores in the various national parks and also are available from GPO. It’s easy to pick them out! To see all of the posters and handbooks produced by our Park Service colleagues in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, go here, where you’ll also find a link to the various parks associations that sell Park Service products.

March Madness

March 30, 2010

College basketball playoffs are wildly popular and followed by millions of fans, including some in our office. Last year, we came up with the idea of doing a “Sweet 16” playoff of Government publications on GPO’s online bookstore. After working with our web support team, which is both creative and very patient, we launched our first playoff last year. We sent out a message to all of our customers who have requested information about our products and sat back to see if anything would happen. It did! By the time our “tournament” was over, we received more than 139,000 votes and a mention in the New York Times business blog.

I think this proves that Government publications have fans, and highly motivated fans at that. The winner? You can find it here.

Now it’s March again, and this year it’s a National Parks Playoff, featuring eight National Park Service handbooks and eight posters by the noted artist Charley Harper (who will be the subject of a future posting here). If you get a chance, stop by and vote!

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