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Our Town

  • Woodmere Art Museum 9201 Germantown Avenue, 19118 (map)



 Woodmere Art Museum welcomes guests to the opening of its fall season with the first large-scape exhibition of Edith Neff in over two decades. Our Town will be on view from September 21, 2019 through January 19, 2020. 

Above: Swimming Pool at Hunting Park, 1975-76, by Edith Neff (Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Herbert and Faith Cohen, 2014) 

A leading realist painter of her day, Edith Neff (1943-1995) was praised for her dynamic compositions, her sophisticated use of color, and her ability to portray drama in everyday life. She explored questions of race, gender, and identity, probing the social and cultural fabric of Philadelphia. Working from photographs she took herself, Neff made self-portraits as well as pictures of her family, fellow artists and colleagues, friends, neighbors, and students. The city itself was central to her work: its public buildings, playgrounds, parks, pools, schools, and beaches were frequent settings. 

Our Town will be the first large-scale exhibition of Neff's work in over two decades. The accompanying catalogue will include firsthand perspectives and commentary from members of the artist's circle as well as a chronology of her career. 

About the Artist 

Neff received a BFA in 1965 from the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA, now the University of the Arts). She served on the faculty at PCA and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). She is represented in numerous public collections, including Woodmere, which holds the largest number of her works; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; PAFA; the Delaware Art Museum; and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. 

Schedule of Events Our Town: A Retrospective of Edith Neff will be on view from September 21, 2019 through January 17, 2020. The following events will accompany the exhibition: 

• Open to the public | Saturday, September 21 

• Members Tour | Saturday, September 28, 1pm 

• Open House Reception | Saturday, September 28, 2-4pm 



• Lecture | Saturday, October 5, 3pm “On Edith Neff” by Bill Scott, artist 

• Community Night | Thursday, October 17, 6:30pm “Our Town: A Retrospective of Edith Neff” by lecturer William Valerio, Director and CEO, Woodmere Art Museum. Co-presented by Woodmere and Mount Airy Learning Tree. 

• Lecture | Saturday, October 26, 3pm “Edith Neff: Myths of Modern Life” by lecturer Patricia Likos Ricci, professor of history of art and director of the Fine Arts Department, Elizabethtown College 

• Lecture | Monday, November 4, 1:30pm “The Echo of My Gaze: Edith Neff, James Elkins, and How We Connect with Art” by Susan Shifrin, Philadelphia-based art historian, curator, and executive director of ARTZ Philadelphia 

• Teacher Workshop | Saturday, November 9, 10am-1pm “Teaching the Elements of Story and Social Engagement through the Narrative Art of Edith Neff” o 3 Act 48 hours 


• Additional events to be announced 


For more details regarding upcoming events and exhibition-related programming, visit woodmereartmuseum.org 

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About Woodmere Art Museum 

Housed in a 19th-century stone mansion on six acres in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Woodmere Art Museum offers a unique museum experience that centers on the art and artists of Philadelphia. The building, grounds, and core of the permanent collection are the gifts of Charles Knox Smith (1845 – 1916). Born of modest means, Smith became a passionate collector of contemporary art in his day. In 1898 he purchased the Woodmere estate with the grand ambition of creating a spiritual experience through encounters with great works of art in the context of the green beauty of the Wissahickon and Chestnut Hill. Woodmere continues to honor and interpret Smith’s vision of bringing art and nature together with a collection that highlights historical and contemporary art as well as outdoor sculpture. Woodmere’s vibrant, changing exhibitions serve as a platform for an ongoing series of opportunities: family events, tours, gallery talks, lectures, panel discussions, studio art classes, film, and music performances. Woodmere is accredited by the American Association of Museums, a distinction held by only approximately five percent of museums nationwide. 

The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday and offers free admission on Sundays. For more information, visit woodmereartmuseum.org. 

Earlier Event: September 27
Or Both
Later Event: September 28
Stanley Stellar - Photographs 1979-1992