The Woodmere Art Museum celebrates Philadelphia’s artistic community and is housed in a historic stone estate built in the 19th century and situated on six acres on Chestnut Hill. When Charles Knox Smith (1845-1916) acquired the estate in 1898 to turn it into a display space for his extensive art collection, he gave the building and grounds to the museum as gifts. In addition, most of the group was assigned to Charles Knox Smith. In 1910, Smith invited members of the general public to visit Woodmere.

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Smith was a prominent civic leader in his day and served on Philadelphia’s Common Council, the forerunner of today’s City Council. At the same time, he spent all of his time collecting contemporary art. His life narrative symbolizes the American ideal despite his lowly roots. Smith started as a grocer’s son but created a successful mining company in Mexico. He spent most of his life in different areas of the city of Philadelphia, and he bought the Woodmere estate with the lofty intention of creating spiritual experiences with art within the backdrop of the natural beauty of the setting.

Woodmere continues to respect Smith’s goal to bring art and the environment together. In recent years it has acquired notable examples of outdoor sculpture by Harry Bertoia, Dina Wind, and Robinson Freudenthal. Smith envisioned a world in which art and nature would coexist. More than 9,000 pieces of art are housed in the collection at Woodmere, and the museum’s nine galleries regularly host exhibits and educational events for adults and children. Classes in painting and watercolor are held at Woodmere in what was a carriage house and are now known as the George D. Widener Studio.

Additionally, the Helen Millard Children’s Gallery displays exhibits of artwork created by pupils. Woodmere also hosts lectures, panel discussions, gallery talks, tours, jazz and classical music series, film series, and educational outreach to Philadelphia schools. This is the purpose of each of these operations. It gives visitors a more in-depth experience.

The accreditation granted by the American Alliance of Museums is a mark of distinction for museums. Only around three percent of institutions throughout the country have achieved this; Woodmere is one of those museums. Woodmere has been recognized as a noteworthy building worthy of inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places because of its contribution to the district’s rich history in the Chestnut Hill Historic District.

Learn and create.

Adult Classes and Workshops

Studio Oil Painting

An instructor will lead students to create a painting based on a subject matter of their choice, emphasizing composition, perspective, color mixing, and painting methods. Students can devote the whole class period to a single piece or work on several other pictures, which may be organized and created using images as raw material.

Drawing and painting

Take pleasure in sketching, painting, or a mix of the two. The ability to “see,” instead of just looking, will be taught to beginners. Answers will be provided to questions such as “Where do I start?” Learn the elements that go into creating an attractive composition, how to use shadow, and how to give your photographs character and depth. Painters just starting will study the fundamentals of painting, such as color theory and mixing, how to handle paint, elemental composition, and basic methods. The most experienced students will continue to refine their talents via a mix of painting from real life and copying from other artworks and images, which is the traditional approach to artistic study. Every student will get both demonstrations and individualized training throughout the course. Make forward progress at your own leisurely pace in an unhurried setting.

Magic in Watercolor

Those who are eager to revitalize their inspiration and get insights into new ways of thinking would benefit from taking this watercolor workshop. Demonstrations broken down into easy-to-follow steps and approaches that are intuitive to grasp will appeal not only to novice artists but also to more experienced ones. Gain self-assurance while learning observational skills, a knowledge of color and value, and an understanding of design principles while working with the medium and magic of watercolor.

Exploring Abstraction 

Students are allowed to explore, take risks, develop critical thinking skills, and build their creative voices via the teaching and open studio practice provided in this program. Participants examine the fundamentals of color theory, learn how to construct compelling compositions, and acquire technical abilities. Each person is responsible for making their own decision on the medium. Students will be encouraged to explore their particular methods of development and improvement via constructive individual and group criticism and specific tasks and demonstrations.

Introduction to Drawing

Working from landscape and still life settings, the purpose of this session is to provide students with a description of the core components of drawing. Students will explore form and space to create cohesive drawing compositions via tone, scale, and color connections. They will experiment with charcoals and pencils to make their drawings.

Botanical Illustration and Watercolor

Discover how to use the fluidity of watercolor to depict the myriad shapes, colors, and forms that may be found in plants and flowers. Students will improve their powers of observation, create unique compositions, and learn strategies for mixing and layering colors to enable self-expression as part of this lesson. There will be several chances for one-on-one communication throughout the demonstrations.

Portrait Painting and Drawing

The students in this session will be led through learning how to draw and paint a subject’s likeness in a portrait drawing or painting. The teacher will conduct monthly demonstrations depicting how to recreate portrait sketches, images, and models of models using Old Master works. The students will devote some time each week to foundational activities designed to help them build essential abilities and discover how a likeness may be generated via the structure of the head and the interaction of features. Understanding light and shadow is crucial because they will be highlighted throughout the course and create the appearance of diverse textures like hair, skin, and materials. Students will get individualized training to assist them in developing their drawings or paintings, which may take place in class or as homework tasks. Read about Philadelphia locations.

Spontaneous Abstraction 

Have you ever been unclear about how to begin painting or been disheartened because the canvas you were working on was blank and white? This course will teach you skills that will help you tap into your intuitive painting process and make it easier to come up with painting ideas, so that you may paint with greater confidence. Discover how spontaneous markings and passages of paint may lead to creative breakthroughs; transmit movement and emotion via the blending of colors; create texture, and make journeys through line and space. You will be able to increase your understanding of the painting process and discover new possibilities, work intuitively, and work intuitively while attending demonstrations. Every session will provide the opportunity for individual feedback and discussion.

To learn more, visit their website or call them at (215) 247-0476.