Dive into past events, artist talks, and other collaborations to stay engaged no matter where you are.
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Spotlight Talk: A-Z of Wharton Esherick and American Studio Furniture
The Wharton Esherick Museum recently received an extraordinary trove of archival materials that were never before available to the public. Included in these papers are Esherick’s alphabetized business files from the 1950s and 60s—an A-Z of his work activities in the era when he became a major figure in American studio furniture.
We dove into the histories of mid-century modern design and the studio craft movement. In this 20-minute program, we look into the ways in which Esherick’s woodworking practice shaped—and was shaped by—rising interest in hand crafted modernist objects. Along the way, we look at project records, letters, and other archival finds.
Spotlight Talk: Wharton Esherick at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, 1958
In 1958, curator Robert Laurer brought a handheld movie camera to work and began filming. His subject was the installation of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (MCC), New York, titled The Furniture and Sculpture of Wharton Esherick. The six-minute long film that Laurer made contains the only known moving-image footage of Esherick. It documents the buzz of activity in the museum gallery in the days leading up to the exhibition opening—including the assembly of the iconic spiral staircase from the Esherick Studio.
Enjoy a look into the 1950s New York craft world. In this 20-minute program, we watch Laurer’s film and explore the stories of the people in it. The cast of characters includes Esherick, crafts patron Aileen Osborn Webb, MCC director Thomas Tibbs, and museum carpenters whose names went unrecorded. Due to some loss of video quality in the program, we have included Laurer’s film as a separate video to enjoy as well!
Imprint 2023 Virtual Reception: Storytelling in Prints
Enjoy our celebration of Imprint 2023, WEM’s annual high school printmaking competition! During the program, we explore a selection of Esherick woodcuts that highlight his approach to storytelling, whether illustrating the words of authors like Walt Whitman or telling a story of his own life on Valley Forge Mountain. Alongside Esherick’s prints, we take a look at a few of our Imprint prizewinners for the unique ways these students took on the theme of storytelling in their own works!
Over the course of Esherick’s life, woodcut printmaking proved a critical medium in his artistic development. Through his explorations in printmaking, Esherick transitioned from a young painter to an internationally-recognized artist and furniture designer. Now in its 15th year, the Imprint program encourages new generations of young artists to share their voices and vision in this dynamic medium.
Spotlight Talk: Geoffrey Berwind & Esherick’s Music Stand
In celebration of our spring exhibition One Object, Many Stories we were excited to host a conversation with Geoffrey Berwind, grandson of Nat and Rose Rubinson. The Rubinson’s 30 year friendship with Esherick resulted in a household’s worth of unique commissions filling their family home – including Esherick’s very first music stand. We’ll hear from Geoffrey about everything from his memories of Rose playing cello on Sunday afternoons to the piano that never was, and how he sees the music stand’s return to the Studio as a “homecoming” for this iconic work of art.
We were delighted to host Geoffrey, a professional storyteller and member of WEM’s Board of Directors, for this talk; Geoffrey’s generosity has made the exhibition of the music stand and its return to the Studio possible. We hope you enjoy hearing more about his personal connection to the site and the spirited role his family played in Esherick’s story!