The Sheep that Hopped the Fence
“Whimsical” is certainly an adjective associated with Esherick’s work., so it is no surprise he had fun while making this “Black Sheep”. It was originally made for a client and friend of his in Falls Church, Virginia, Elin Rove; however, while shaping this sculpture for Elin, Wharton did a double-take. The sculpture was so chunky, he thought it looked pregnant. To fix it, he sliced a thin cross-section layer from it. Peter, Wharton’s youngest child, rather liked the sliced off section and so he asked for it and that slice is what you see in the photo to the right. The larger portion of the sheep went to Elin, who then passed it on to a friend of hers. It was by no coincidence that this friend happened to own the “Black Sheep Restaurant” in Berkeley, California. Unfortunately, “Black Sheep” disappeared from the restaurant. Whether stolen or misplaced, we are not sure. Yet, we at the Museum would love to find it again! The Wharton Esherick Museum is on the look out for “Black Sheep” and we need your help. If you have seen this sheep (like the photo, only thicker) or know anything of its whereabouts please contact us, for like Little Bo Peep, we’ve lost our sheep!