Artwork by Mitzi Melnicoff. Part of the exhibition “Just In: Recent Acquisitions in the Collection of Woodmere Art Museum.”

by William R. Valerio

The heart of any art museum is its collection. Woodmere Art Museum’s mission is to tell the stories of Philadelphia’s artists, and our ever-growing collection is central to every exhibition and activity at our museum. Through literally hundreds of generous gifts and purchases, Woodmere’s collection has now grown to 3,404 works of art, with 701 having been acquired in just the last two years.

This sort of growth results from the new energy at Woodmere. As the museum’s director, I’m writing to encourage a sense of pride and collective ownership of this unique community asset and to extend an open invitation: Help us celebrate Woodmere’s recent acquisitions by joining us at our free Open House reception on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

Be the first to see our exhibition “Just In!,” which will showcase a selection of our newest treasures, while another exhibition, “The Philip Jamison Collection,” showcases an important promised gift to Woodmere of almost 100 works of art from the distinguished Chester County watercolorist’s private collection. These exhibitions include works by the Pennsylvania Impressionists, Philadelphia’s modernists, contemporary abstract painters, traditional academic and realist painters and more. Jamison’s masterful and prized watercolors will be on view, as well.

Artists on view include Arthur B. Carles, Jan Baltzell, Bernard Badura, Quita Brodhead, Amanda Bush, Michael Gallagher, Albert Gold, Betty Hubbard, Elaine Kurtz, Roy C. Nuse, Violet Oakley, Elizabeth Osborne, Jane Piper, Bill Scott, Benton Spruance, A.K. Stoddard, Francis Tucker, Martha Walter and many more.

Woodmere is also in the midst of digitizing its collection, making these important works by Philadelphia’s artists accessible to people all over the world. We invite you to our website’s collection page, woodmerecollection.org, where you can search through our galleries and storage vault electronically. Almost half of the collection is now online.

This giant step into the digital age was made possible by a generous grant from philanthropist John McFadden in honor of his friend, Marguerite Lenfest, a trustee of Woodmere whose support has been foundational to the life of the museum. Woodmere’s website, woodmereartmuseum.org, is the place to go for information about the museum’s classical music and jazz concerts, lectures and conversations with artists, Tuesday Night at the Movies, Museum Store, art classes and other offerings.

Woodmere’s board, staff and volunteers are honored to serve the museum’s mission, and we thank the many generous individuals whose donations of art are a gift to everyone. We hope you can join us on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m., as we celebrate the growth of our great collection — a collection for all of you in Northwest Philadelphia and far beyond.

Woodmere Art Museum is located at 9201 Germantown Ave. For more information, call 215-247-0476 or visit woodmereartmuseum.org.

William R. Valerio, Ph.D., is the Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO, Woodmere Art Museum.