“FISCHER END TABLE WITH LAP LIGHT”: This 1932 piece by Wharton Esherick is part of “Daring Design: The Impact of Three Women on Wharton Esherick’s Craft”, on display until February 6 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., Now features an exhibition highlighting the influences that shaped the work of sculptor and carpenter Wharton Esherick. “Daring Design: The Impact of Three Women on Wharton Esherick’s Craft” runs until February 6, 2022.

The exhibition explores the significant impact of three women – industrialist Helene Fischer, artist Hanna Weil and photographer Marjorie Content – on Esherick’s career and development at a crucial creative moment for the artist in the years 1930. Fischer and Content financially supported Esherick through commissions for his work, and the three women provided artistic inspiration and pushed the artist to conceive of new ideas that pushed the boundaries between fine art and design. functional design.

Presenting innovative furniture designed by Esherick for Fischer, Weil and Content, as well as works of art created by Weil and Content, “Daring Design” investigates the visual and material dialogue between these artists and patrons.

“The support and collaboration of Fischer, Weil and Content enabled Wharton Esherick to produce some of his most innovative works during the Great Depression, when many artists struggled financially, yet the impact of these women on his art and career is not widely recognized. Said Kate Quinn, executive director of the Michener Art Museum. “We are delighted to present to the public this one-of-a-kind exhibition to explore the connections between these women who have so deeply influenced Esherick’s work.”

“Daring Design” features several works on loan from the Wharton Esherick Museum located in the artist’s former studio in Chester County, near Malvern, Pennsylvania. Quinn also sits on the board of trustees of the Wharton Esherick Museum. In addition, a special group of objects is on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“Wharton Esherick blurred the traditional separation between fine arts and crafts, adding personal expression to everything he created, be it furniture, sculpture or architecture of his own. home and studio, ”said Julie Siglin, executive director of the Wharton Esherick Museum. “His work continues to inspire new generations of artists and carpenters, and we are proud to collaborate with the Michener Art Museum on this exhibition which explores the inspiration he drew from his early clients.”

As a sculptor, Esherick mainly worked with wood and extended his unique forms to furniture, furnishings, interiors, buildings, etc. Now recognized as a leader of the Studio Furniture Movement, Esherick saw himself as an artist and his concern was form, not technique. He pursued his artistic vision in forms that could transform into furniture or other sculptural furnishings, but this was only one aspect of his art, which was complemented by the paintings, prints, drawings, poetry and sculpture that he was also creating.

“Daring Design: The Impact of Three Women on Wharton Esherick’s Craft” is co-organized by Michener Art Museum chief curator Laura Turner Igoe and carpenter Mark Sfirri, a leading authority on Esherick and his life.

This is one of a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges Initiative.

The Michener Art Museum, located at 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, Pa., Is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org or call (215) 340-9800.


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