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Anita Weschler was a sculptor of representational and abstract pieces, working in a variety of media including cast stone, bronze, wood, durastone, aluminum, and plastic. An innovator in form and media, she begun constructing stone collages in the 1940s. She created plastic resins from commercially used materials as an art medium in 1955, first exhibiting this work at the Guggenheim and the Whitney in New York. Her figurative pieces included commissioned portraits and groupings in her distinctive blocky style, conveying ideas and emotions by means of simple, angular planes and contrasting repeated forms. The Ecclesiastics Series included 14 pieces in different media, expressing universal needs common to all people. In the 1950s, she produced Translucencies, backlit paintings in shadow-box frames. Her series of 20th Century Hex Paintings were round brilliantly colored organic abstractions. A series of works on paper, called the Chevron drawings, consisted of colorful fantasies of floating forms. Later work includes constructions made of synthetic glazes on plywood panels.
In addition to her paintings and sculpture, Anita Weschler published a book of poetry, Nightshade, and contributed articles on sculpture to art magazines. She held over 40 solo shows, and participated in group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She is represented in many public collections in the United States, South America, Mexico, and France. Several of her pieces from the Ecclesiastics Series are in the collection of the Michener Art Museum. They were put on display in the Michener Art Museum permanent collection in 2016.
Photo of Anita Weschler. Christmas card 1980. Courtesy of the James A. Michener Art Museum archives.
Education and Training
New York School of Fine and Applied Arts (presently Parsons School of Design), New York, New York
Art Students League, New York, New York
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Winter Sessions Chester Springs, 1929-1930; 1930-1931 and Summer School at Chester Springs, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932
Teachers and Influences
Albert Laessle, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia
William Zorach, at the Art Students League in New York
Colleagues and Affiliations
Anita Weschler exhibited with Bucks County artists George A. Anthonisen, Raymond E. Barger, Anne Spadea Combs, Ben Solowey, Charles Rudy, May Lou Glick, Robert Dodge, Clarence C. Carter, and Louise Pershing.
She was an active member of the Bucks County Art Alliance, and exhibited at Phillips' Mill Annual Art Exhibitions and at Bucks County Sculpture Shows. Several of her pieces of sculpture are in the permanent collection of the James A. Michener Art Museum.
Connection to Bucks County
Anita Weschler lived in New York City and had a studio, Long Hill, in Erwinna, Bucks County from the 1940s to the 1980s. She stayed in Erwinna during the summer months and was very involved with the Bucks County Council of the Arts. She exhibited regularly in Bucks County including at Stover Mill in Tinicum, and Phillips' Mill in New Hope.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Weyhe Gallery, New York, New York, 1937, 1940
New York Public Library, Hudson Park Branch, 1938
Robinson Gallery, New York, New York, 1940
Stover Mill, Erwinna, Pennsylvania, 1977
Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, 1977
Retrospective Show, Stover Mill, Erwinna, Pennsylvania, 1983
Coryell Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1984
Major Group Exhibitions
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953
Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey, 1935, 1951
Society of Washington Artists, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1936
National Academy of Design, New York, New York, 1936, 1945
San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California, 1938, 1952
Friends America Artists, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1940
American Sculpture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, 1952
National Association of Women Artists, 1952
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, 1950s
Phillips' Mill Annual Art Exhibition, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1952, 1979
Celebration of the Arts, Bucks County Sculpture Shows, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1978, 1981, 1982
The New York Botanical Gardens Group Show, New York, New York, 1981
Plastic as a New Art Form, Artists Craftsmen of New York, New York, New York, 1983
Montclair Art Museum, 1935, 1951
Society of Washington Artists, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1936
San Francisco Museum of Art, 1938, 1952
Prize, Friends of American Artists, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1940
American Federation of Arts Traveling Show, 1951
Medal of Honor, Audubon Artists, 1951
National Association of Women Artists, 1952
Patron's Award for Sculpture, Phillips Mill Annual Art Exhibition, New Hope, PA, 1952
The Whitney Museum of American Art
The Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences
Michener Art Museum
Jose Limon Dance Foundation
Art Students League
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art
Museum of Tel Aviv