PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania exhibit "Wharton Esherick and the Birth of the American Modern" has won an award of merit from the American Association for State and Local History. Wharton Esherick and his circle of artistic friends shaped the definition of American modernism.
Esherick was trained as an illustrator and painter, but his interests expanded to set design, sculpture, furniture and architecture. His work and materials about him were exhibited at Penn from September 2010 to February 2011 in the Van Pelt Library and the Kroiz Gallery of the Architectural Archives. The exhibit included books, manuscripts, photos, prints, sculpture and furniture.
Penn’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Library and the Architectural Archives created the exhibit in collaboration with the Wharton Esherick Museum in Paoli, Pa., and the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, Pa. All of the organizations will share the award, a prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
The AASLH bestows 59 awards each year, honoring people, projects, exhibits, books and organizations. The AASLH will award the honor to the organizations at its annual meeting in Richmond, Va., on Sept. 16.