Three-panel folding screen

1927
Wharton Esherick (American, 1887–1970)


Object Place: Paoli, Pennsylvania

Dimensions

Each panel 168.9 x 30.5 x 2.5 cm (66 1/2 x 12 x 1 in.)

Accession Number

2006.1891

Medium or Technique

Walnut, ebony

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Tables, stands, screens

Walnut three-panel folding screen, extensively chiseled and chip-carved with alternating geometric patterns, depicting a landscape of three birds in ebony flying over sheaves of wheat and corn.


Wharton Esherick’s artistic furniture and independent lifestyle made him a seminal figure in the American studio craft movement. Trained as a painter, and active in printmaking, Esherick was especially gifted in handling wood as a sculptural material. This screen relates closely to his woodblock prints of the 1920s; its chip-carved and chiseled decorations portray an abstracted landscape in low relief. The vertical edges of the panels represent tree trunks, whose bare limbs branch out across the sky in which three blackbirds fly. The lower half of the screen depicts a patchwork of farm fields with sheaves of grain, reflecting the rural environment surrounding Esherick’s Pennsylvania studio.

Signed

Signed and dated "WHARTON ESHERICK / MCMXXVII" in a rectangle

Provenance

1930, made for Hannah and York Fischer; about 1985, by descent to York Fischer, Jr.; 2006, sold at Rago Auctions, Lambertville, New Jersey (Modern Design, October 25, 2006, Lot 433.

Credit Line

Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund

Copyright

© On behalf of Wharton Esherick's children