by William R. Valerio
There’s a great deal happening at Woodmere as we welcome the fall. Responding to letters from some of our youngest friends, we built and opened our annual straw maze on Sept. 5 – earlier than we did in past years. The maze feels like a season-long party, and we invite you to bring your children, grandchildren and young friends so they become accustomed to having a good time at art museums.
In our galleries, the exhibition “Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art,” continues through Oct. 27. A great figurative realist, Bernstein outlived every one of her Ashcan School-generation colleagues and continued to paint through her 110th birthday.
And ready or not, we just opened “Things That Go Creak in the Night,” an exhibition of historic Halloween decorations, tambourines, toys, and books from the collection of the artist Peter Paone. The gauze monster feet are to die for!
Woodmere is also excited to be presenting “Schofield: International Impressionist,” on view from Sept. 18 to Jan. 25. Of all the great American Impressionist artists with roots in Philadelphia, Walter Elmer Schofield (1866-1944) belongs to Chestnut Hill.
From the 1920s through the 1940s, he lived from fall through spring with the family of his brother Albert Schofield at 408 West Moreland Ave. From there, he would walk into the Wissahickon and paint some of the great winter landscapes for which he is justly famous.
Gregarious and social, he was known locally as “Scho” and important collectors like Gertrude and George Woodward acquired his paintings. The artists who hailed from this community – including Violet Oakley, Edith Emerson, Alice Kent Stoddard and Walter Baum – were his friends, and it was thanks to his network of relationships that many marvelous paintings by Schofield came to be in Woodmere’s collection.
More than 60 important Schofield paintings will be on loan for the exhibition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other great public collections in the United States and Europe, as the exhibition reunites the achievements of a local hero.
Woodmere’s exhibitions are brought to life by the weekly rhythm of events and activities, all of which are described in detail on our website, woodmereartmuseum.org. If you are inspired by Schofield’s paintings, please sign up for workshops on making art in the Wissahickon or attend our lectures on French and American Impressionism. “Tuesday Night at the Movies” begins on Sept. 30 with “High Noon.” Friday Night Jazz begins on Oct. 10 with the “swinging “ Philadelphia sound of the Hammond organ. Tours, events, programs and other opportunities to learn something new, meet your friends, and tap into your own creativity take place at Woodmere all the time. We look forward to seeing you!
William R. Valerio, Ph. D, is the Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave. For more information, call 215-247-0476 or visit woodmereartmuseum.org.