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Trained as a traditional academy artist at the turn of the century, Wharton Esherick unsuccessfully pursued a career as a painter for many years before he abruptly abandoned brushes and canvas for chisels and wood in 1924. Working in his Pennsylvania mountainside retreat, possessed by his own visions, Esherick combined the emerging concepts of modern art with the process of hand wood shaping in a manner that created a new genre. His sinuous organic sculptures, furniture and architectural interiors were stunningly new in their time and eventually changed the way many designers and artisans thought about the design potential of furniture and wooden structural forms. During his life, Esherick's work was featured at three World's Fairs and exhibited by such organizations as the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Crafts. In 1971, he was posthumously awarded the national Craftsmanship Medal by The American Institute of Architects.

Samples of Esherick's work:

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