I recently discovered the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, PA – the home and studio of early American modern artist Charles Demuth (1883-1935). It’s an intimate, small museum with display space on the first floor and the artist’s light-filled studio upstairs overlooking the courtyard garden below. This is where he created most of his finished works. Seeing his paint box and brushes brings the artist to life. I have to admit that I was not familiar with his work, but I learned that he was sickly all his life and still managed to travel and become a prolific, prominent artist. He suffered from diabetes and was one of the first people in the US to receive insulin as a treatment. He is perhaps best known for his painting, I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold. This small museum is only open when they have exhibits, so check their website for dates and hours. Visit the courtyard garden through the alley to the right as you exit the museum.
The day I visited, the Sunnyside Mural was on display in the first floor exhibit space. This extraordinary work showcases the playfulness of prominent artists and friends who gathered at Sunnyside Farm each summer. This mural was created as a “hostess gift” in the summer of 1930 to decorate the cocktail room of the farm. First of all, the fact that the farm had a “cocktail room” shows that it was a fun bunch! The background material accompanying the mural fills you in on what a sense of humor this group had! Oh to be a fly on the wall at one of their parties! In June of 1930, the project was started by Tommy Farrar, a well-known stage designer and his niece, Ellen Goldsborough who had just finished working on the Rockwell Kent ceiling mural at the Cape Cinema on Cape Cod in Dennis, MA. This was no ordinary hostess gift!
Only a block from the museum, a stop at Barberet Bistro and Bakery is a must! Their pastries are works of art and the restaurant behind the bakery is awesome. One of my favorites! https://26eastlancaster.com/barberet/
For more information about the Demuth Museum, visit http://www.demuth.org