PHILADELPHIA – Notable works from the historic Hedgerow Theatre by renowned American artist and woodworker Wharton Esherick will come to auction for the first time on March 31 at Freeman’s. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Representing decades of creative exchange between the master woodworker and the theatre, this significant collection leads Freeman’s forthcoming Design auction. The collection, which includes eight of Esherick’s earliest “Hammer-Handle” chairs and the important “Thunder Table” from 1929, celebrates Esherick’s lengthy and seminal relationship with the theatre and demonstrates its considerable influence on his evolution as an artist and craftsman.
Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), heralded as the “Dean of American Craftsmen” and among the vanguard of the Studio Furniture Movement, began working in wood at the close of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Although embracing the ideology that valued the hand-made over the industrially produced, he broke with the movement’s more traditional aesthetic, creating sculptural and cutting-edge forms. Esherick was introduced to the Hedgerow Theatre in nearby Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, and to its founding Artistic Director Jasper Deeter (1893-1972) in 1923.
Thirteen lots of Wharton Esherick furniture and one of his sketch books will be sold at Freeman’s Design Auction, which will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, March 31.