Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Demuth Museum aims to create appreciation, understanding, and awareness of the artwork of American painter, Charles Demuth. Visitors can expect to find a wide variety of programs, a vast collection of modernist works, and unique exhibitions that will inspire and engage members of the whole family.
Charles Demuth, or “Deem” as he was known amongst his friends, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1883. When he was around 6-years-old, Charles and his family moved to a home which neighbored the Tobacco Shop which had been a family business since 1770.
Charles was a weak and sickly young man, so his family encouraged him to utilize his excessive time indoors to work on his artistic skills. During this time, he painted his first formal work of a windmill surrounded by a picturesque landscape. He grew up receiving guidance from many local artists and studied the artistic stylings of china painting, still life, landscape, and pyrography. When he graduated he high school in 1903, Charles decided to study art and enrolled in the Drexel Institute of Art.
He spent some time in Paris after he finished his studies and after returning to the states, he could publicly present his work for the very first time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 8th Annual Exhibition.
In the years following, Demuth lived all over the world, traveling to DC, Bermuda, New York, and Europe. During this time, he made many lifelong friendships and experimented with many forms of art and painting. In the early 1920’s, he finally discovered his passion for watercolor and modernist painting. He was quite ill with diabetes and other psychiatric issues, so he spent quite a bit of time in the hospital during his later years.
In the summer of 1934, Demuth made his final visit to one of his favorite places, Provincetown. He created his last works here alongside his friends until he passed away in 1935 from health effects of diabetes. His works and the impact they made on the artistic community will never be forgotten, which is why the museum aims to honor his memory and his talents.
The permanent collection at the Demuth museum has 32 of the iconic works by Charles Demuth which he painted between 1896 and 1932. The works were generously donated by the Demuth family to preserve his legacy and his impact on the American Modernist movement. One of his very first formal works of a windmill and landscape is on display (1896).
The collection is organized to showcase his developing style and the way various periods of his life impacted his works. Visitors can expect to travel through the collection and learn all about Demuth, his friends, his life, and the history of the time.
Robert E. Locher: A Modern Classic:This exhibition is on display at the museum until November 26, 2017 and features the works by the life-long friend of Demuth, Robert E. Locher. He was well-known for the illustrations he made for publications like House and Garden, Vanity Fair and Vogue. He was also one of the leading modern interior designers of the 20th century, working for clients such as Juliana Force and Gertrude Vanderbilt.
Garden Tour and Party:This annual fundraising event is held in the month of June and features an exclusive tour of unique homes and their gardens throughout the Lancaster area. The event kicks off with a fabulous garden party complete with live music, an open bar, delicious snacks, and a silent art auction. Tickets sell out fast each year, be sure to reserve your spot for next year!
Art Auction:The 19th annual art auction will be held on November 9, 2017 and proceeds will benefit the museum and local artists. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at The Elks Lodge on Duke Street.
Summer Art Camp:Each summer (June-August), the museum hosts a summer camp for budding artists in the area. The camps are one week long and each of the 4 weeks specialize in a different art form; drawing, painting, crafts, and words in art. Children ages 7-14 years old are welcome to attend, be sure to reserve your child’s spot ahead of time!
Art Classes for Adults:Each year, the museum hosts a series of art classes for adults. The classes in 2016 were held in April, May, and August and taught students how to paint murals with Jeff Geib, paint watercolors with Steve Wilson, and drawing with Rick Huck.
The Demuth Museum, 120 East King Street, Lancaster, PA 17602, Phone: 717-299-9940