Current Exhibition

Movement is Life

March 2, 2024 – June 3, 2024

This year, at the Wharton Esherick Museum (WEM), we are celebrating the creative energy that Wharton Esherick found in the rhythms of life. Throughout 2024, our programs, exhibitions, and events will focus on art as it interacts with the rhythmic aspects of the natural world, inclusive of the human body. Shifting seasons, daily rituals, life cycles, and body mechanics are rhythmic movements that informed Esherick’s work, as they do for contemporary makers today.

Throughout Esherick’s hand crafted Studio, his sense of rhythm rings clear. From the intuitive axe strokes that define his wood sculptures, to the organic patterning of the stonework on the building exterior, he hewed to the tempo of breath and the cadence of landscape. In his desire to make nature his ultimate timekeeper, Esherick pushed against currents of industrialization in the machine-age era when he lived. Movement is Life, our spring exhibition, kicks off a year of programming at WEM that traces the thread of rhythms from the 1920s through the present.

Off the Shelf
Wharton Esherick Museum Book Club

Calling all Esherick fans and readers! Off the Shelf is an Esherick-like twist on the classic book club! It provides the opportunity for bookworms, Esherick fans, and local community members alike to explore Wharton Esherick’s legacy through the artist’s own richly stocked bookshelves, as well as recently published books that illuminate Esherick’s artistic networks and enduring legacy.

Meetings are once a month and take place in Esherick’s 1956 Workshop and features an exclusive look into WEM’s special collections and archives to explore materials related to the month’s book. Discussions will be moderated by friend of the museum, WEM board member, and Director of West Chester University Special Collections, Ron McColl, and will feature occasional guest specialists.

“If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing”  –Wharton Esherick

The Wharton Esherick Museum celebrates and preserves the legacy of American artist Wharton Esherick, who worked primarily in wood to create furniture, furnishings, utensils, interiors, buildings and more.

A National Historic Landmark for Architecture, his hilltop studio/residence, with more than 300 of his works on exhibition, has been preserved much as it was when the artist lived and worked there.

We invite you to visit the Museum through a guided experience for which reservations are required.


Watch Craft in America episode, HOME, featuring the Wharton Esherick Museum

HOME visits artists whose environments are filled with meaning and metaphor. It features Syd Carpenter, Helen Drutt, Wharton Esherick, Biskakone Greg Johnson, North House Folk School, and Sim Van de Ryn.

Stream the episode online here!

Watch our Spotlight Talk: Filming with Craft in America

“A complete expression of one man’s intensely personal fusion of fine craftsmanship with the wild flights of the imagination.”

Anne d'Harnoncourt, former director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

“Fun, neat, creative, colorful, comfortable, smooth, flowing, exciting, cool, twisty, wavy, and extraordinary.”

Second graders describe their visit to the Wharton Esherick Museum

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Your support keeps Esherick’s legacy thriving, and preserves his joyful, handcrafted Studio for generations to come.