Wharton Esherick Studio Museum
Box 595
Paoli, PA 19301
(610) 644-5822

Places Nearby:
Great Valley Nature Center
Valley Forge Park
Mill Grove Audubon
Newcomen Library and Museum
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Anyone who has seen this artist's work has undoubtedly looked at it for a long while, for it is some of the most fascinating art to be found. A native of Philadelphia, Wharton Esherick was born in 1887. He studied painting at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and in 1913 moved to an old stone farmhouse near Paoli.

Painting led Mr. Esherick to begin carving decorative frames, then woodcuts, and finally sculpture, apparently his favorite medium. He also made furniture and has been called the Dean of American Craftsmen for his sculptural furniture and furnishings.

Esherick's work has been featured at World's Fairs and in museums throughout the world. His paintings and sculpture comprise part of the permanent collections of such institutions as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, and others. But perhaps the best of this great artist will be found in Paoli.

Overlooking the Great Valley, Wharton Esherick's studio is itself a work of art. He spent forty years building, enlarging, and altering the stone building, paying attention to the smallest details. He carved the doors, forged the hinges, shaped the copper sinks, and sculpted the andirons, heater grilles, door latches, stairs, kitchen cabinets, and many other features of the house. He even fashioned a set of coat pegs caricaturing the workmen who had helped him.

After his death in 1970, Wharton's heirs and friends desired to keep the studio intact, maintaining it as it was during the artist's life. Visitors will appreciate the informal atmosphere of the place. Works of art are displayed without cases and can be touched. There are no signs; each piece is described through a Guided Tour.

More than 200 works are exhibited here -- paintings, woodcuts, prints, and sculpture in a variety of media. Produced between 1920 and 1970, the pieces reflect the artist's progression from organic forms, through cubism, culminating with the swirling, lyrical forms he is perhaps best known for.

Tours will be enjoyed by individuals, families or groups (20 or more). This is a great chance for School Groups to catch an intimate glimpse of the life of a great artist, and of his works.

Hours: Open by appointment only, March through December, on Saturday from 10am - 5pm and Sunday from 1 - 5. Appointments for weekday Group Tours (5 or more people) 10am and 5pm can be made by phone or by letter. Closed in January and February.
Adults $12.00
Children under 12 $6.00
Call for Group rates.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Nearby restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Accessible.
Directions: Will be given when making reservation. 30 - 60 minutes.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.