Charley Harper (American, 1922–2007)
Tree of Life, 1961
Over billions of years, a great diversity of life has filled our oceans, skies, forests, and grasslands. Marine biologists have gazed in wonder at the canny anglerfish, the dazzling nudibranch, and a vast array of living corals; ornithologists have admired the red-headed woodpecker and the ruffed grouse; botanists have traced the family history connecting the fern, the morning glory, the sunflower, and the palm. To convey his teeming conception of the tree of life, Charley Harper chose 102 plants and animals, including even a bacterium, a fungus, and a fine golden pear, for this composition—a fun and fascinating 500-piece puzzle.