Wharton Esherick

Trained as a painter at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art and at the Pennsylvania Academy, Wharton Esherick began carving picture frames and making woodcuts in the early 1920s. Although he never studied sculpture, he went on to make furniture and modernist works of art for which he is now best known. His favorite material was wood from the oak trees that grew around his studio (now the Wharton Esherick Museum) in Paoli, Pennsylvania. Animals were among Esherick’s favorite subjects, especially in the 1930s when he carved several horses. “Darling,” which represents a deer, is carved from one large tree-trunk and reflects his interest in warped surfaces and the fluid forms of nature without the intrusion of symmetry or sharp edges. For about ten years, “Darling” stood outdoors in the woods on the studio property. Signs of weathering can be seen on the nose, where Esherick had to join pieces with dowels. Esherick is also appreciated for his distinctive non-traditional furniture designs, which reflect his disdain for straight lines and right angles.
Date of Birth
White oak
87 1/4 x 26 1/4 x 57 1/2 in. (221.615 x 66.675 x 146.05 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
Henry D. Gilpin Fund