Sophie Harpe
1895-1981

Theme/Style – Modernism, Abstraction, figurative art, landscapes

Media – Oils, watercolors

Artistic Focus – Sophie Harpe produced vibrant paintings whose sophisticated color palette and confident execution bespoke the originality of her artistic vision. Her subjects ranged from purely abstract forms to Modernist landscapes which themselves were often explorations of pure shape, line, and color.

Career Highlights –

• Sophie Elaine Harpe was born in Quebec, Canada in 1895. She studied music early in her life, before turning to the visual arts as her means of self-expression.
• Harpe studied at the National Academy of Design in New York, as well as the Ecole des Beaux Arts and Academie Julian in Paris, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in architecture.
• In about 1918, Harpe moved to California and obtained her Master of Arts degree from Stanford University.
• Sophie Harpe subsequently began a career as an art teacher, both in arts and crafts at Stanford, and at Monterey Union High School.
• Harpe’s work was exhibited at the Grand Central Gallery in New York, as well as at Stanford University, the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, and elsewhere on the Pacific Coast.
• Upon her retirement from teaching in 1960, Harpe continued painting and exhibiting locally on the Monterey Peninsula, and was an active member of the Carmel Art Association.
• Harpe’s work is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and was included in the museum’s 2004 exhibition, A Vision of Her Own: California Modernists at LACMA, alongside the work of other progressive California women artists such as Henrietta Shore and Elise Seeds.
• Sophie Harpe passed away in Carmel, California in 1981.

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