Estate of Irving Harper, the Rye paper sculpture artist whose work was exhibited at the Rye Arts Center (RAC) shortly before his death, sold his collection for $1.2 million at auction. Helen Gates, the former RAC director, bought three of the 306 works sold via an online auction app.
She meant to buy only two of them, she "won" the third by "fat fingering" the bid button. If you missed the auction and want your own Irving Harper, she might have an extra…:
"The works of the late, reclusive Rye artist Irving Harper sold for $1.2 million dollars in a recent Chicago auction.
His entire collection — consisting of 306 paper sculptures of abstract figures and shapes, realistic people and animals, and imaginary creatures — was purchased by art dealers and private collectors, said Richard Wright, owner of Wright auction house, which handled the sale…
Helen Gates, the former director of the Rye Arts Center who orchestrated the Harper exhibit, built a special relationship with the artist and convinced him to let the center display his works. She tuned into the live streaming of the Chicago auction with a wishlist of about 25 pieces.
“I had no idea when I logged onto the auction at 1 (p.m.) that it would turn into an eight-hour marathon of watching, bidding, losing and then finally winning,” Gates said. "What an endpoint to my personal experience with Irving Harper.”…
The third piece, she said, she bought by accident.
"I hit bid on the touchscreen, and my heart beat like crazy when the screen said that I was lead bid," Gates said. "It's not a piece that was on my original wishlist, but it's quite intricate and colorful. It's a wonderful study in color theory and paper folding technique."
Harper lived in Rye for more than 60 years and died in his home in August 2015 at the age of 99…."
Read the entire piece at LoHud.com