|Portrait of Esherick (1887-1970)|
I had no idea my trip back to the New Jersey area would be so filled with woodworking experiences. We just sort of happened upon the Esherick museum as we were making our way towards Lancaster County, PA, and it was a real thrill.
I first read about Esherick some years ago (it might have been this article by Chuck Bender in PopWood) and I recall being amazed at his work. His use of curves was so far from my rectilinear thinking. As a younger man, he was primarily a painter. He started doing some decorative carving for the frames of his paintings and in the 1920's he began doing sculptures with wood as his primary medium.
At some point, he started into making furniture. I read somewhere that he had a hard time selling his artwork, but his furniture was selling, so he did more furniture to support his family. But I also read that he was becoming very well known for his sculptures, some of which were on display in museums. Through his art and furniture, he made many contacts and was able to continue his work. He really combined art and furniture - just look at any piece of his furniture and you see it.
Here is a picture of a couple of his sculptures.
|Two very tall (16-20 feet tall!) sculptures - beautiful flowing curves.|
IIRC, the lower floor had to be excavated to be able to fit them in the building.
|Garage, turned museum reception area.|
The roof line angles from front right to back left.
|This was WAY cooler in person|
(and solid as a rock, too)
|A tall Arts and Crafts-inspired chest with lots of nature-inspired carving|
|A beautifully curvy music stand.|
The angle this photo was taken doesn't show the curvy legs very well.
Esherick was a painter, sculpter, furniture maker, poet and probably more. If you ever get a chance to visit the museum, you won't be disappointed.