Demuth Museum Presents Charles Demuth: Early Influences Exhibition

. June 30, 2010 . 0 Comments

The Demuth Museum’s current exhibition features the early influences and childhood art work of Charles Demuth. Demuth, who was born in Lancaster in 1883, grew up in a home in which his early artistic talent was recognized and encouraged by his family. Demuth continued to find inspiration in Lancaster throughout his entire artistic career, consistently returning to the city for his primary subject matter and to work in his studio here on East King Street. Open through August 29, 2010.

Charles Demuth, Landscape with Windmill #1, 1896, watercolor and graphite on paper, Collection The Demuth Museum

Charles’ mother, Augusta, encouraged her son’s talents through childhood play and by teaching him needlework. Demuth learned how to work with a burin, paint on china, and studied painting and drawing with local artists. Charles’ father, Ferdinand, also played a major role in influencing his son’s talents. Ferdinand, an amateur photographer, would include Charles on his sojourns with the camera club to the countryside. Ferdinand also took photographs of local architecture, the circus, and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show parading down King Street. These early photographs of the city of Lancaster and its happenings, as well as the process of making them, would later influence Charles’ own ways of creating art.

These early artistic experiences and training helped to solidify Charles’ wish to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and become an artist. This exhibit will examine the artist’s early interactions with art teachers and his relationship with his mother and father, as well as consider the time period and type of household in which Demuth was raised. These various influences shaped Charles’ artistic expression and explain his consistent return to the subject matter of Lancaster for over ninety percent of his work.

The Demuth Museum, established in 1981, is dedicated to developing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the artwork and legacy of Charles Demuth (1883-1935). As a leader of the American Modernist movement, Demuth is best known as a pioneer of the precisionist style and a master watercolorist. Located in the artist’s former home and studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Demuth Museum has a permanent collection of over 30 Demuth works, along with an extensive archive and library. The Demuth Tobacco Shop, the oldest operating shop of its kind in America, and other historic buildings surround the museum; all are open to the public. All exhibits are supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts. The Demuth Museum is also supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Opening reception Friday, July 2 from 5-7 p.m. in conjunction with First Friday festivities. Regular Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10-4 & Sunday, 1-4.

Lower image: Charles Demuth, Self Portrait, 1907 The Demuth Museum

Demuth Museum , 120 E. King Street, Lancaster, PA 17602

Category: Fine Art

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