Wharton Esherick and the Birth of the American Modern Wins National Award of Merit
NASHVILLE, TN--Wharton Esherick and the Birth of the American Modern, an exhibition by the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design's Architectural Archives, the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Wharton Esherick Museum and Rose Valley's Hedgerow Theatre, has won an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).
A founder of the American Studio Furniture Movement, Esherick (1887-1970) was a Philadelphia native and artist whose distinctive synthesis of art, theater, dance, and design forged an early and compelling example of American Modernism. His furniture features strikingly original sinuous lines informed by studies in illustration, painting and sculpture.
Penn's Kamin and Kroiz Galleries presented the first major survey of Esherick's supremely idiosyncratic work in over 50 years, including furniture, sculpture, woodblock prints, drawings, paintings, correspondence, and photographs
The award-winning exhibition, on display from September 2010 - February 2011, explored 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. William Whitaker, collections manager of the Architectural Archives, joined Andrea Gottschalk, Roberta A. Mayer and Mark Sfirri as part of the curatorial team.
The AASLH Leadership in History Awards is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2011 AASLH Annual Meeting in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday, September 16.
For more information visit http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/esherick_exhibition.html or http://www.design.upenn.edu/archives/archives/index.html.