Wharton Esherick: An Artistic Legacy Through Necessity

Exhibition Info
Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
"Wharton Esherick: An Artistic Legacy Through Necessity" examines how the symbiotic connection of fine and applied arts is as relevant for artists today as it was for Esherick, and how artists have used fine art training to pursue creative careers in design, fabrication, and related fields.

Wharton Esherick (July 15, 1887-May 6, 1970) was a leading figure in the American Studio Crafts Movement which developed after 1945.  These artists used new techniques and non-traditional materials, embraced utilitarian aspects of craft, and produced unique art objects that fused abstract form with function.  Wharton Esherick: An Artistic Legacy Through Necessity, explores the productive relationship between applied and fine arts within his work, while placing the artist’s practice in conversation with recent alumni from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Wharton Esherick attended the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art and then studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1908 to 1910.  Following school, he had several painting exhibitions and worked various jobs as an illustrator.  In the 1920s, Esherick began to focus on sculpture, woodworking, and design in response to technological and economic changes, as well his own changing artistic interests.  Maintaining his vision as an artist, Esherick considered his furniture to be first and foremost works of art.

Alumni:

Ben Jones - Cert. ‘12  - Weaving and Textiles

Marguerita Hagan - MFA ‘10 - Ceramics

Steven Dufala - Cert. ‘00 – Set Design

Thomas Pontone - MFA ’13 Cement Furniture

Chelsea Dombroskie - BFA ’15, Cert. ’16 - Landscape Architecture Student

 

Wharton Chalking out Dannenberg Table
Wharton Chalking out Dannenberg Table
Alabama Pine
Alabama - Pine
Esherick Three Legged Stool
Esherick Three Legged Stool
Alabama - Magnolia
Alabama - Magnolia
Long House Card Table
Long House Card Table

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Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
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