Through the annual thematic woodworking competitions, the Museum seeks to encourage creative thinking and the development of new imaginative designs for items for everyday use. The theme is based on utilitarian items such as those to which Esherick applied his unique sense of design and craftsmanship.




The 23rd Annual
Wharton Esherick Museum
Woodworkers' Competition and Exhibition

2016 Theme: Frames



Frame by Esherick

Apply online: Click Here

For more information or to request a hard copy or PDF of the application, contact information@whartonesherickmuseum.org

Would you like to help support the competition?
Make donation here

To View Past Shows Click Here!

  Frame by Wharton Esherick, 1920s    
Competition Requirements    

The Competition/Exhibition
The jury will select pieces to be exhibited at the Wharton Esherick Museum, from September 11th through December 30, 2016. These pieces may also be available for sale, with a 30% commission on the sale price for the Wharton Esherick Museum. Cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 will be awarded, plus a $200 Members’ Choice Award to be voted on at the opening reception and a $100 Horace Hartshaw Award for high school students.

The competition is open to all woodworkers:
professionals, students and hobbyists.

The works should be:
• functional - beyond decorative or ceremonial
• primarily of wood - painted or unpainted
• can be prior creations or newly made
• an expression of non-traditional, imaginative new design
 Dimensions should not exceed: 24" x 22"

Pieces may be made by carving, turning or any other technique.

The piece(s) must be available for the duration of the exhibition. Please check your entry form for accuracy, as this information may be used for signage and publication.

The works will be judged, without revealing the artist’s name, from images, by a jury of three. Criteria for selection are:

- Creativity
- Craftsmanship
- Functionality

The Judges:

-Albert LeCoff, Executive Director, The Center for Art in Wood
-Laura Heemer, Curator, Wharton Esherick Museum
-Amy Forsyth, Associate Professor of Design, Lehigh University

Entrants will be notified by July 31, 2016 of the jury’s decisions.

Entry Process
Submit up to three images for each completed piece (no maquettes), one being a detail view. Digital entries should be JPEG files, 300 dpi minimum and burned on a CD or via a Dropbox link. Please do not send digital images by e-mail.


The digital images will not be returned after the judging process. The Wharton Esherick Museum reserves the right to use the images for educational and/or publicity purposes, acknowledging the artist. (Once received, if a selected piece does not meet the jury’s expectations as represented in the slides, it may not be included in the exhibition.)

Entry fee

$25 entry fee, $15 for Wharton Esherick Museum members and Horace Hartshaw entries (applies to current high school students only). The fee is non-refundable and covers the entry of up to three pieces. Additional entries must be made for additional pieces. Make checks payable to the Wharton Esherick Museum.

Digital images and accompanying entry form must be postmarked by July 1, 2016. You must include your resume, and any special instructions regarding assembly, displaying, etc., and any other comments you believe are pertinent.

Mail to:
Wharton Esherick Museum
PO Box 595
Paoli, PA 19301-0595
Do NOT send works to this address.

Shipment of Selected Pieces
Selected pieces are due August 15, 2016. The artist will pay for insuring in transit and for shipping the piece(s) to the Museum. Shipping address for selected pieces will be supplied at time of notification of selection. The Wharton Esherick Museum will pay the cost of returning any unsold piece(s) at the end of the exhibition.

The selected pieces will be exhibited in a secure exhibition
area, and will be insured by the Museum from the time of their arrival to the time of their delivery to the artist or purchaser.

Works should be marked with a retail price or indicated NFS (Not For Sale). A commission of 30% of your retail price will be retained by the Museum. If NFS, please state a value for insurance purposes.




     Wharton Esherick Museum
     P.O. Box 595
     Paoli, PA 19301-0595