Wharton Esherick, famed artist and craftsman, was oft heard to say, "If it isn't fun, it isn't worth doing." He brought that idea to every aspect of his life, and especially to his work. The Wharton Esherick Museum celebrates these achievements, housing more than 200 of his original works, from wooden sculpture and furniture to interior designs and even architecture, within the walls of the building that served as his home and studio. The museum describes his legacy not so much as a style of art or shape of chair, but rather as the very existence of an industry for artisinal, hand-crafted wood items bearing non-traditional designs.
Esherick's ever-evolving sense of play lies just as much in the museum's bones as its exhibits. He continually expanded on his house and studio throughout his life, using different materials and styles to expand the home to suit his latest visions or needs. Atop the stone walls of the studio space, for instance, he built a bedroom, raising the bed to the exact height of the window; he liked to watch deer frolic and sunrises spread across the tapestry of farms in the valley below. Later, he expanded his living quarters with a kitchen built inside a rounded tower which he affectionately called "his silo." His home ultimately became a historic landmark, and then the museum itself.
Looking for a new museum experience? Check out Phoenix Village Art Center in Phoenixville and explore the many wonders of art.
Phoenix Village Art Center's guests can take advantage of the easy street and lot parking options.
Whether you're an artist or just someone who appreciates art, Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Audubon is the perfect museum choice for you.
Make the trip to this museum even more savory with a visit to their fine restaurant.
Little ones are just as welcome as their parents at this museum.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Highlands Historical Society in Fort Washington interests history buffs and beginners alike, so everyone is encouraged to come check it out.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
When the car industry was just blossoming, many vehicles were manufactured in Pennsylvania. The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles preserves that legacy, with exhibits stretching back through the 19th and 20th centuries. Established in 1965 by Paul Hafer—a 57-year industry vet—and his wife Erminie, the museum exclusively features vehicles produced in Pennsylvania and none that simply had "Pennsylvania or bust" scribbled on their rear views.
Eye Catcher: vintage truck bodies built by Boyertown Auto Body Works, whose former factory building serves as the museum's main gallery
Permanent Mainstay: a restored 1921 Sunoco Gas Station complete restoration, along with two Fry Visible Gas pumps, a kerosene pump, an oil pump, and signage
Don't Miss: the Fegely's Reading Diner, a restoration of a 1938 Jerry O'Mahony roadside eatery
Hidden Gem: an 1827 Conestoga wagon, built in Berks County, PA
Past Exhibits: the museum's been visited by such luminaries as Nellybelle, the 1946 Willys Jeep from The Roy Rogers Show.
Annual Event: over Labor Day weekend, the museum hosts Duryea Day, an annual antique and classic car show, featuring live bands, food vendors, and a flea market.
Suburban Philadelphia is the heart of the helicopter industry, where most helicopters in the United States are raised and bred. So it's fitting that the American Helicopter Museum was built here in 1996, showcasing a collection of aircraft that spans 70 years. New simulator and audio guides coming soon.
Size: This 20,000-square-foot hangar holds 35 rotor-wing aircraft
Eye Catcher: The Bell 47D-1/H-13D Sioux, made famous by the '70s TV show MAS*H
Don't Miss: The V-22 Osprey, a unique tiltrotor aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of a helicopter with the speed of a plane—the only one of its kind on public display
Hands-On Experiments: Guests can climb into several of the museum's helicopters to feel what it's like in the captain's seat of a whirlybird
Special Events: Fatherfest is an annual celebration on Father's Day that features classic cars, drones, remote control helicopters. and family entertainment.