Woodmere Art Museum

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Interior of the Woodmere Art Museum.

Telling the Story of PHILADELPHIA'S Art and Artists

Housed in a 19th-century stone mansion on six acres in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Woodmere offers a unique museum experience that centers on the art and artists of Philadelphia. Vibrant exhibitions explore the achievements and social ideas of Philadelphia’s artists in the broader context of American art. Woodmere prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in its collecting, programming, and admission policies.

The core of Woodmere's collection is the gift of Charles Knox Smith (1845–1916). Born of modest means, Smith built his fortune in the mining industry, and he became a city leader and passionate art collector. In 1898, he purchased the Woodmere estate with the grand ambition of creating a museum of the fine arts immersed in the green beauty of Chestnut Hill. He expanded and transformed his home into a showcase for his art collection as a gift to the people of Philadelphia. Smith focused much of his collecting on Philadelphia’s artists, but his Hudson River paintings remain on view as the best in Philadelphia to this'day. For almost forty years up to 1978, the artist Edith Emerson served as Woodmere’s director, and she established a focus on women artists, especially collecting those in the circle of her life partner, Violet Oakley.

Throughout the year, Woodmere offers family events, tours, gallery talks, lectures, panel discussions, studio art classes, film, and music performances. Woodmere offers the experience of art and nature together with a growing collection of sculpture installations across its six green acres. Complemented by an interactive map, WOW, Woodmere’s Outdoor Wonder, brings together monumental outdoor sculpture, horticulture, environmental conservation, and education.

Note:  The above descriptive information came from the museum's About page.

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