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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
"Mother Oak" by Mark Workman
Mother Oak by Mark Workman acrylic on paper

A Perspective on Art in Lancaster and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania

By selecting a sampling of the work of the area's best artists, the project highlights the artists of Lancaster and Chester Counties in southeastern Pennsylvania from 1700 to the present, reflecting the diversity of talent and creativity in the region's art community. Inspired by the many historic landmarks, picturesque villages, covered bridges, barns and farm buildings, artists in the area have predominantly painted in a realistic style, yet avant-garde and contemporary works are becoming more numerous. Although oil paintings are still abundant, the most popular medium still appears to be watercolor. Sculptural works in bronze and other cast materials, mixed media and stone are also represented in the area's art. While the ability to achieve recognition and make a decent living practicing their art is still elusive for most artists, the area of Lancaster and Chester Counties has produced many notable exceptions; they have gone on to garner fame and fortune at the local, national, and/or international level.

The narrative covers early area artists born between 1776 and 1900, including Arthur Armstrong, George Cope, Jacob William Deichler, Charles Demuth, Jacob Eichholtz, Wharton Esherick, Albert VanNesse Greene, Ida Ella Jones, Luigi Persico, Horace Pippin, Ludwig Reingruber, David McNeely Stauffer, and Benjamin West, one of the earliest American artists to achieve fame. West became a noted portraitist in England and was elected President of the prestigious Royal Academy. Daphne Landis, the narrative's author, includes background on the artists, which is accompanied by photographs of their works.

The next section of the narrative, "Artists of the Twentieth Century" profiles contemporary artists in Chester and Lancaster Counties born after 1900. Included are profiles of and samples of the art of Eleanor Allen, Robert Andriulli, John Baker, Richard Blake, Tom Bostelle, David Brumbach, Lucius Crowell, Joyce deGuatemala, Harry Dunn, Lillian Falgie, Susan Gottlieb, Art Harrington, Joann Hensel, Philip Jamison, Michael Kahn, Jack Kaiser, Mitch Lyons, Maria de los Angeles Morales, George Porter, Jon Redmond, Peg Richards, Fred Rodger, Barclay Rubincam, Doris Sams, Suk Shuglie, John Suplee, Dane Tilghman, Donna Usher, Edwin Vander Noot, Brett Anderson Walker, Paul Wescott, Mark Workman, and Lynn Yancha .

An entire section of the narrative is dedicated to the most famous of area artists, the Wyeths. Profiled are three generations of Wyeth artists: Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945), Andrew Wyeth (1917- ), and James Browning Wyeth (1946 - ). Although all were from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, just over the Chester County line, it seemed remiss not to include them in this perspective. There is an additional section on the Phoenixville Mural, by Meg Fish and Michael Webb. The mural is a dramatic tableau depicting the history of Phoenixville, an early center of iron making in Pennsylvania .

Finally, the narrative spotlights the work of area art associations, the Chester County Art Association and Historic Yellow Springs, an artists' community until 1952. Ms. Landis also provides a bibliography / sources for the artist information she presents.

Originally submitted by: Joseph R. Pitts, Representative (16th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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