LANCASTER, PA.- The Demuth Museum
s new exhibition features the early influences and childhood art work of Charles Demuth. Demuth, who was born in Lancaster in 1883, grew up in a home in which his early artistic talent was recognized and encouraged by his family. Demuth continued to find inspiration in Lancaster throughout his entire artistic career, consistently returning to the city for his primary subject matter and to work in his studio here on East King Street.
Charless mother, Augusta, encouraged her sons talents through childhood play and by teaching him needlework. Demuth learned how to work with a burin, paint on china, and studied painting and drawing with local artists. Charless father, Ferdinand, also played a major role in influencing his sons talents. Ferdinand, an amateur photographer, would include Charles on his sojourns with the camera club to the countryside. Ferdinand also took photographs of local architecture, the circus, and Buffalo Bills Wild West show parading down King Street. These early photographs of the city of Lancaster and its happenings, as well as the process of making them, would later influence Charless own ways of creating art.
These early artistic experiences and training helped to solidify Charless wish to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia and become an artist. This exhibit will examine the artists early interactions with art teachers and his relationship with his mother and father, as well as consider the time period and type of household in which Demuth was raised. These various influences shaped Charless artistic expression and explain his consistent return to the subject matter of Lancaster for over ninety percent of his work.