Wooden Wonders | The Center for Art in Wood

06/29/2018     News and Film

Located in Old City, Philadelphia 's historic neighborhood along the Delaware River, the Center for Art in Wood was established by brothers Alan and Albert LeCoff. The Center originally started in 1976 as a series of wood-turning workshops at a Quaker school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and culminated five years later in a touring exhibition titled The First North American Turned Object Show. The brothers, along with their woodshop teacher Palmer Sharpless, are credited with fostering an appreciation of wood turning and elevating the medium to the status of contemporary art it enjoys today.The LeCoffs incorporated the first iteration of the Center in 1986, the Wood Turning Center, as it was then known, from Albert 's home in Germantown, Philadelphia. The Center held numerous exhibitions, several of which toured nationally, and hosted two international Wood Turning Conferences. In 2000, the Center moved from Germantown to Old City, its first of two locations in the city 's oldest neighborhood. The name change came in 2011, to better reflect the Center 's “evolution into a nonprofit.”Today, the Center for Art in Wood welcomes visitors, makers, and professional artists, and serves the community by nurturing and promoting “the innovation of art in wood through collaborative residencies, exhibitions, education and documentation.” The Center 's permanent collection features more than 1,000 handmade pieces from around the world. The institution holds 4-5 exhibitions throughout the year, with corresponding catalogues and publications, and participates in the city 's famed “First Friday” events, opening its doors after hours to the public the first Friday of every month.On July 11, approximately 50 works of carved and turned wood vessels, objects, and sculpture from the Center for Art in Wood will be up for auction in The Collector 's Sale Part II: Objects & Curiosities. The collection represents works culled from the Center 's permanent collection of turned and/or carved wood art by some of the most prominent artists of the medium. Offerings include Lot 563, two vessels in bleached clack Locust burl and maple burl by Michael Peterson (estimate $800-1,200), and Lot 572, a colorful Torus vessel by Hap Sakwa (estimate $300-500). Lot 571, a set of three pots of Madrone wood by Christian Burchard (estimate $300-500) will also be offered.“The Center is an international leader in the promotion of wood art, sponsoring artists and exhibitions aimed at exposing wood art to a wider audience,” said 20th Century Design Department Head, Tim Andreadis. “Freeman 's is honored to have been selected to handle the deaccession of works by artists already represented in the Center 's collection, several examples of which have been published.” See the full collection now