The year starts at Woodmere with a feeling of gratitude as we reflect on the accomplishments of 2022.
The year starts at Woodmere with a feeling of gratitude as we reflect on the accomplishments of 2022. We are also refreshed from the celebrations and R&R of the holidays, and we start in January with a clean palette. Although not entirely! This year as always, our fall exhibitions carry over for a few weeks into the new year. We encourage that you please come visit “George Biddle: The Art of American Social Conscience” and “Printing as Prologue: Recent Work by Allan Edmunds,” both of which close on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Looking ahead to the exhibitions we are planning for 2023, the next show to take place in our large rotunda-shaped Kuch and Del Bueno Galleries will be “Kidding Around,” a family-focused exhibition that explores the representation of children in the art of Woodmere’s collection. Then, Doug Bucci will be the juror of this summer’s Woodmere Annual: 81st Juried Exhibition. Bucci’s work crosses the line between jewelry craft and contemporary installation art, and he chairs the internationally recognized jewelry department at Tyler School of Art. Our fall exhibition will focus on the work of the astonishing Barbara Bullock, a senior figure in the arts of Philadelphia. This will be a career overview that digs deep into a unique aspect of Bullock’s practice. Through the decades, her art has evolved together with her work as a teacher and community leader. The forms, content, and intellectual underpinning of Bullock’s art have grown from a magical bridge between personal vision and community commitment. Woodmere’s collaboration in 2022 with the Photo Review journal was so popular that we are collaborating again to host their international photography competition, joining forces in a long-term partnership to create a center of gravity for the photography artists of our region.
Programming is revving up! Tuesday Night at the Movies opens on Jan. 10 with Hitchcock’s early masterpiece “Peeping Tom.” Then, every year we start our classical music presentations with the star in our midst: our neighbor, the internationally renowned pianist, Marja Kaisla. Responding to the popularity of Marja’s annual January concerts, she is generously offering two evenings of performance at Woodmere this year, playing Liszt, Brahms, Debussy, and Stravinsky on Friday Jan. 20, and then a Schubert program the next evening on Saturday, Jan. 21. Marja is a thrilling performer, you will want to attend both performances. Friday Night Jazz opens on Feb. 24 with an R&B program with Roy Richardson joining Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble. Roy’s voice ranges from baritone to falsetto and he integrates his vocalizations with jazz flute. It is always a special experience when we can get Roy to Woodmere, and you don’t want to miss it, or any of our Friday Night Jazz concerts.
The year 2023 will be a robust one in exhibitions and events, and on top of it all, Woodmere is growing. With our commitment to open Frances M. Maguire Hall to the public in the spring of 2025, we are working at a rapid pace to renovate the building, converting the 19th-century estate into a 21st-century museum for the display of Woodmere’s collection. This represents a game changer on many levels. Ours will be the first galleries in the city permanently dedicated to showcasing the work of Philadelphia’s living artists. More generally, Maguire Hall will give visibility to the many strengths of Woodmere’s collection and define our place within the national spectrum of museums with collections of American art. For this to happen, Woodmere must grow organizationally, building capacity in order to operate a larger museum. Both 2023 and 2024 will be years of institutional growth, and this can only happen because we are blessed with an extraordinary community of supporters and partners. This includes every person reading this article and the amazing community of individuals and organizations that put wind in our sails and make Northwest Philadelphia a unique place for a museum to thrive.
William R. Valerio, Ph.D., is The Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum.