|Sophie Harpe |
|click image to enlarge|
"Desert Slot #2"
Oil on canvas board
30 x 24 inches
Click here for more available artwork
Sophie Elaine Harpe was born on February 27, 1895 in Quebec, Canada. In 1897, the family immigrated from Canada to the United States, where they settled in New Jersey, and in 1905 they became naturalized citizens. Initially, Sophie's desire was for a career in music as a concert pianist, which she did pursue early in life. This plan was not fulfilled when she abandoned music and embarked on serious study in art and design. She graduated from the New York School of Applied Design for Women, which led to her work under Mrs. E.G. Treganza at Tiffany Studios and later as head textile designer for Petegny Freres & Company, both in New York. While there, she pursued further study in the field of architecture at Columbia University.
In 1918, she moved to California, initially to Berkeley, where she continued her work in the design field. From Berkeley she traveled to Europe, where she studied both design and fine arts at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts and L'Academie Julian in Paris, France. She then returned to California and settled in Los Angeles, where she worked as an art instructor at the Heart College, where she established the school's first art department. During her residency in Los Angeles, she continued to pursue work in the design field, designing sets for the motion picture industry, concert and theater venues, and, most notable, the Hollywood Bowl.
In the mid-1930s, returning to Northern California, she obtained a master of fine arts degree from Stanford University and was appointed to the school's faculty. In addition to her work at Stanford, she was known for the independent classes she taught in design and interior decoration. In 1939, she left Stanford for a position as art instructor and department chair at Monterey Union High School. After she retired in 1960, she continued to paint, design, and exhibit her work around the Bay Area.
Sophie passed away on November 7, 1981, in Carmel, California.
Exhibited: Grand Central Gallery, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art; California Art Club, 1931; Monterey Museum of Art; Carmel Art Association Gallery; Stanford University Art Gallery; all in California. Her work was included in A Vision of Her Own: California Modernists at LACMA, 2004.
Member: Carmel Art Association; Hollywood Art Association
St. Gaudens, Maurine. Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860-1960. Vol. 2. 2015.