Prior to joining the Jule Collins Smith Museum in March, Harper served both as Curator of Exhibitions and Exhibition Designer at the Georgia Museum of Art.
Among the projects he organized while at the Georgia Museum were “Cut Along the Grain,” a historical survey of woodcuts drawn from the museum’s permanent collection and “Weaving His Art on Golden Looms: Paintings and Drawings by Art Rosenbaum,” a 50-year retrospective of one of the South’s most influential contemporary artists. The latter received an Award of Excellence for Exhibitions from the Southeastern Museum Conference, and acknowledgement by the Southeastern College Art Conference as Outstanding Exhibition and Catalogue of Contemporary Materials.
Harper served as an essayist for the catalogue “Coming Home: American Painting, 1930-1950, from the Schoen Collection” and for the forthcoming “The American Scene on Paper,” both volumes published by the Georgia Museum of Art.
Harper served as a curatorial advisor for Georgia in 2003 for the National Museum of Women in the Arts “From the States” exhibition and was a founding board member and past vice president of Athens Institute for Contemporary Art.
Harper earned his master of fine arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1992 and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1978. He taught studio classes at the University of Georgia for over 10 years, on the Athens campus and in Cortona, Italy, and has led workshops on egg tempera painting and gilding.
Recently, Harper helped restore a series of New Deal-era frescos and other murals on the campus of the University of Georgia. Before moving to Georgia, he was collections manager from 1981 to 1989 at Wildenstein and Co. in New York. In addition to his career in the museum field, he is a practicing visual artist with exhibitions across the United States. and abroad. His art has been featured in American Artist, Art New England, Art Papers, New American Paintings, the Oxford American, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.