Commissioned Art Collection

British and American troops at a fort
The untitled 2008 watercolor illustration by artist Richard Schlecht was originally commissioned by the National Park Service/Harpers Ferry Center for the San Juan Island National Historical Park visitor information brochure.

Artist Richard Schlecht

A boy squatting in the woods holding a plant

Art throughout the National Park Service

As part of its interpretive work, HFC often contracts with artists to create works to help visitors understand the many stories parks have to tell. A scene of the Revolutionary War in a visitor center film brings history closer. A painting in an exhibit gives context to the objects on display. Drawings of plants and animals in a brochure help visitors identify what they see in the park.

Village mural

In HFC's media products, a single work may be used for several different projects for parks with related stories. Sometimes only a detail of an image --one person or an animal --is used to convey a specific idea. Paintings, drawings, and even computer-generated art add to the quality of people's experiences in parks. Where will you find art on your National Park Service visit?

Bear standing over Devil's Tower

The collection contains more than 11,000 pieces of art purchased by Harpers Ferry Center or produced by HFC staff for park brochures, exhibits, films, posters, publications, and other projects. Some of the artists represents include Leonard Baskin, Heinrich Berann, Alan E. Cober, Mark English, Louis S. Glanzman, Charley Harper, Jay Matternes, Jerry Pinkney, Keith Rocco, Richard Schlecht, Robert Hynes, and Don Troiani.

Most of the art collection is accessible to NPS staff through an online, searchable database. Thank you for your patience while we transition the Harpers Ferry Center Commissioned Art Collection website to NPGallery. For assistance in the interim please email the collections manager.

HFC often acquires one-time or limited use rights for pieces of artwork. Only material in the public domain is available for use by the public.

Frequently Asked Questions

If the art was produced through a contract that gives the government ownership of the copyright, digital images of the art can be provided to the public. Purchasing copyright outright from an artist can be expensive. In many cases the National Park Service has purchased unlimited use rights for NPS use only due to cost constraints, but in some cases even use by the NPS can be limited. The NPS adheres to U.S.. Copyright laws and will not provide copies of copyrighted materials without written consent of the copyright holder.
In general, the searchable database is set up to ensure that the public only sees images that do not have copyright restrictions. If you have questions about the copyright status of any materials, or how to contact the copyright holder, email the collection manager.
All requests for images of materials in the HFC Commissioned Art Collection must be submitted on the user request form and submitted to the collection manager via email.
At this time there is no cost for digital images of available artwork in the HFC Commissioned Art Collection. A cost recovery program is currently under development. This is information will be updates as the program is implemented.
Museum collection storage areas are not open to the public. The HFC Commissioned Art Collection is available for research by appointment only.
The HFC Commissioned Art Collection is generally available for research by appointment weekdays only from 9:00am-4:30pm. Staff tries to accommodate requested appointment days and times but alternative days or times may be necessary as staff and space are limited.
Contact the collection manager for more information or to schedule a research visit.

Last updated: June 23, 2020