The Harper
Case Study

The Harper

Philadelphia, PA Collaborators Studio DAS Featured Artist Debbie Smyth Highlights Custom hand-made pin and thread portrait of namesake James Harper Project Scope Public spaces

There’s a newcomer to the historic Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, and the design narrative is going to have you humming Hamilton songs in no time. After all, what else comes to mind when you think about a poor immigrant sailing across the Atlantic to make a new life, later becoming a Congressman and making friends with the Marquis de Lafayette? James Harper is the namesake of this new 24-story luxury property, and his Broadway-worthy backstory informed the design narrative behind our curation of the art collection for this multi-family property.

Located in the same neighborhood where he first purchased property in 1840, The Harper pays homage to James Harper in several pieces of art located in corridors and common spaces. The man himself makes an appearance in one of the common area corridors in the form of an original commissioned piece by textile artist Debbie Smyth. Referencing a painted portrait of Congressman Harper, Smyth created one of her signature pin and thread portraits, turning a traditional two-dimensional framed portrait into a three-dimensional one. Farther along, an enlarged reproduction of a letter by Harper oversees the apartment’s meeting room. A nod to James Harper’s success in the brick manufacturing business can be found in another corridor of The Harper in the form of a wall sculpture composed of individual resin bricks.

Additional pieces of art in The Harper’s collection include a wall sculpture of cascading diamond shapes in the elevator lobby, a fitness-inspired diptych in the gym, and several small art moments in the lounge area including framed giclées and mounted quills.

We loved creating an art collection for this property located in such a rich, historic area. Learning about James Harper’s legacy and having that inform where we pulled ideas from made for an educational and inspiring art curation experience.

– Jason Fiore, Principal, Kevin Barry Art Advisory

Located in a well-heeled historic area of Philadelphia, The Harper apartments are the newest and highest-end offering in the neighborhood— and that says a lot.
1 / 5
2 / 5
3 / 5
4 / 5
5 / 5
Suggested Projects

Feeling inspired by this project?

Schedule a Consultation

Planning a gallery visit?

Come see some featured art for yourself at one of our three galleries.

Los Angeles Showroom
2525 Michigan Ave., Suite A8
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 893-0361
Las Vegas Showroom
5905 S. Decatur Blvd. Suite 10
Las Vegas, NV 89118
(702) 948-1929
San Francisco Showroom
101 Henry Adams Street, Suite 321
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 817-1020