Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wharton Esherick Museum, A Sense of Place

Creating a home is a very individual process and can take years to perfect. Every person has different requirements to create a sense of place and comfort in their living environment. Personally, I like to surround myself with items that are borne out of someone's vision, whether it be a piece of furniture, artwork or a textile. These items, handmade and full of character, lend a feeling of warmth that just can't be found through manufactured pieces.

Last weekend, my family and I visited Wharton Esherick's home and studio just outside Philadelphia and just after stepping into his studio, I was immediately surrounded by the warmth created by his furniture and sculptures. Crafted by his hand as he worked with the grain of the wood rather than against it, Wharton created not only beautiful items but also an aura of peace and comfort in his surroundings not found in many places.

Something about handmade is appealing to me as each piece has its own story and uniqueness. The picture above shows Wharton's dining room. His studio was located on the first floor of his home and nestled above that space was his sleeping quarters, kitchen nook and dining area. Wharton could coax a thing of beauty out of any wood that crossed his path as evidenced from the wooden items shown in the pictures in this post.

As I prepare to move into a home my husband and I are buying just 10 miles from where I live now, it is my hope that I can bring warmth and rootedness to that space in much the same way Wharton achieved that in his. When in Wharton's home, I felt a connection between the indoor world of art and the outdoor space of nature, positive energy coming off the furniture, a simplicity of living which achieved a feeling of living in harmony with oneself, stillness and beauty. Difficult to achieve, yet still worthwhile pursuits when creating my own home.

Picture above, staircase connecting Wharton's studio to his living space.

Click on the link below for more information on Wharton Esherick:

*Bottom 3 photos in this post were taken from postcards purchased from the Wharton Esherick Museum. No indoor photography is allowed at the museum.


Carolyn H said...

Darcy: I've never heard of this place before. It looks wonderful! I'll have to put that on my list of places I want to see. Thanks for letting me know about it!

Darcy said...


It is fantastic! You will not be disappointed!



Darcy -- Is there a book on this man and his work? -- barbara

Darcy said...

Folkways- Yes, just do a search on Amazon and you will turn up lots of info!

The book called Wharton Esherick, Journey of a Creative Mind is particularly wonderful! I looked at it while visiting the museum and loved it!