Wharton Esherick Museum, Paoli

Wharton Esherick Studio, now housing the Wharton Esherick Museum, was the studio of the craftsman-artist Wharton Esherick (1887–1970), in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The Studio was built between 1926 and 1966, reflecting Esherick's evolving sculptural style—from Arts and Crafts, through German Expressionism, ending with the free form Modernist curves that marked his later work.

There are five structures on the site: his home and studio, the 1956 workshop designed with Louis Kahn, the 1928 German Expressionist log garage which now serves as the museum visitor center, his woodshed, and the recently reconstructed German Expressionist outhouse.

The buildings, from their structural forms down to the door handles and light pulls, were designed and built by Wharton Esherick to create a complete artistic environment. The Studio is filled with more than 300 of Wharton Esherick's works, including sculpture, furniture and furnishings, paintings and prints.
The Wharton Esherick Museum was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1971, and opened for visitors in 1972. The Museum is open for tours, with advance reservations, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Group tours (minimum of 5 people) can be arranged Monday through Friday, from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. All tours require a reservation. Reservations can be made by calling 610-644-5822 during business hours. Tours last approximately 1 hour. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $12 for students with an I.D. and $8 for children under 12.

The studio was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
Under the direction of the museum curator, the Wharton Esherick Museum holds an annual Thematic Woodworking Competition and Exhibition as a means to encourage creative thinking, and to encourage the development of new and imaginative designs for items of everyday use.
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Wharton Esherick Museum Reviews
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67 reviews
  • What a treat to tour the artist Wharton Esherick’s unique studio/home, where the building is as fascinating as the furniture and sculptures that it contains. Over a 40-year period, Esherick...  more »
  • What a surprising discovery! This museum is well worth the visit. We went on a rainy day. The tour was interesting.  more »
  • Just a lovely experience. The tour group was small in keeping with the cozy spaces we were visiting. It was an amazing and intimate view into a talented artist's craft and life. Just as a note, the tour may be challenging for those with mobility issues.
  • Wharton Esherick was an excellent artist, designer and woodmaker. His furniture, sculptures and decorative objects in the studio/house are Amazing! I highly recommend the guided tour (where you wear booties over your shoes or walk barefoot to protect the floor).

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