Wharton Esherick secondary header


Many of Esherick's sculptural themes were directly related to his long-term involvement with the community of actors and artists connected to Rose Valley's Hedgerow Theatre. For instance, he maintained an intimate relationship with one of Hedgerow's leading actresses throughout the last thirty years of his life and one of his best-known sculptures is "Actress" (above, left). He carved a pair of large horse figures that were mounted in front of the Hedgerow Theater to become a Rose Valley landmark. The bronze cast of one of those figures (above, center) is currently installed on the grounds of the School in Rose Valley.

Esherick also told the story of how one night, shortly after throwing a large piece of wood on the fire, he saw a figure in the wood as the flames engulfed it. Hurriedly pulling the charred chunk out, he took it to his workshop and carved a representation of his daughter, calling the piece "Head of Mary" (above, right). Others of his sculptural works were much larger in size and more abstract in nature. In 1953, Esherick was one of 11 American sculptors whose massive designs were winners in the competition for an international Monument to Unknown Political Prisoners.

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