Wharton Esherick and the Birth of American Modernism

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Wharton Esherick and the Birth of American Modernism

A new exhibition on Wharton Esherick, a fascinating and multi-faceted artist, has opened at the University of Pennsylvania. Mounted as a partnership between the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania,  the Wharton Esherick Museum (Paoli, PA) and Hedgerow Theatre (Rose Valley, PA), the presented material draws fully from Esherick’s diverse output.

About the exhibition -

Wharton Esherick and the Birth of the American Modern, the first major examination of Esherick’s work and artistic development in over fifty years, will explore the social, political, and artistic milieu of the 1920s and 1930s and the role it played in Esherick’s evolution into an artist who spoke through wood. Trained as an illustrator and painter, Esherick’s experiences in modern theater and dance, his exposure to new ideas in philosophy, politics, and literature, and his experiments in carving and printmaking laid the foundation for his emergence as an artist of remarkable range–from painting and prints to set designs, sculpture, furniture and architecture. He and his community of friends created an artistic circle in which radical new ideas flourished and shaped the definition of American Modernism.

For those interested there is a corresponding catalog and there is also a symposium planned for October 1st and 2nd. The exhibition runs through February 13, 2011.

Learn more at Penn Libraries.

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