The Mortar Between the Stones:
Stories of the Studio

When Wharton Esherick built his sandstone Studio, he shaped the mortar just so, to emphasize the natural qualities of the stones. Similarly, the stories that have collected around the Studio bind together and animate the artworks within. Come share in the artist’s life, loves, friendships, and creative partnerships with a special tour that is built on storytelling. Drawing from WEM’s rich collection of oral histories, the tour brings the Esherick Studio to life through the words of Wharton Esherick and the people who knew him.

The Mortar Between the Stones: Stories of the Studio is co-developed and co-led by Geoffrey Berwind. The co-creator and director of the award-winning Once Upon a Nation storytelling program in Philadelphia, Geoffrey is the grandson of Esherick friends and patrons Nat and Rose Rubinson, whose commissioned works include the iconic Esherick music stand. Growing up amidst the warm friendship between Esherick and his grandparents, Geoffrey was a frequent visitor to the Studio, and is passionate about connecting people with a place that has been for him, a second home.

This one hour tour offers first-time and repeat visitors alike a complete tour of Esherick’s Studio, plus behind-the-scenes access to stories and accounts that are not part of the general tour, including audio of Esherick himself!

Enjoy this glimpse into Esherick’s own storytelling in a clip taken from WEM’s oral history:

Things to know before you visit

   All visitors must have advance, paid reservations prior to arriving on-site. No exceptions will be made.

  Tours are currently limited to a maximum of 8 guests.

  Due to the historic, hand-built nature of the building, the Studio has limited accessibility for individuals who use wheelchairs or have other mobility issues. A detailed outline of the physical elements of the site terrain, pathways, and buildings can be found HERE. Please email [email protected] if you have questions or to request accommodations for your visit.

   If you are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19, please postpone your visit. Please email [email protected] and we will be happy to reschedule your tour.

two men stand on an outdoor deck - one older and one younger

What to expect during your visit

   Visitors are not allowed to touch any surfaces or objects in the Studio.

  In the event of rain, we encourage you to bring an umbrella for the outdoor portion of the tour.

  Low-heeled shoes only, please! This helps protect our floors. Guests may be asked to wear shoe covers (over their shoes).

   Casual photography, for personal use only, is permitted on tour (no tripods please). Videography is prohibited.

   No food, drinks, or water bottles are allowed inside the Studio.

No pets are allowed inside the Studio.

  Large bags and backpacks are not permitted in the Museum. If you bring them along, you may be asked to return them to your car.

  The Museum Store is open during tour days and hours only (Thurs – Sun 10am – 3pm). You can visit our online shop anytime!

Stories of the Studio Tour Pricing:

  • Adults: $30.00
  • Members: $20.00
  • ACCESS Cardholders: $2.00 (Call or email for reservations)

Tour Schedule:

Specialty tour schedules vary. Check the tour schedule for available dates and time. Tours are open to a maximum of 8 guests.

Any changes to your tour, including cancellations or rescheduling, must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled tour. Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled tour to receive a full refund. If you need to cancel or reschedule please call 610-644-5822 or email us at [email protected].

The museum is closed each year for the months of January and February as well as all major holidays including Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.