The Hedgerow Theater in Rose Valley has decided that to make needed repairs and help ensure their future success, they need to sell furniture and a staircase that were created for Hedgerow by world-renowned wood sculptor, Wharton Esherick. Residents of Rose Valley and The Rose Valley Museum are heartbroken that this important Rose Valley legacy could be taken away to parts unknown. The Rose Valley Museum is sponsoring the effort to raise sufficient funds to save these pieces of our history and keep at least some of them in Rose Valley.
Soon after the theater’s founding by Jasper Deeter, Esherick and his family became deeply involved with the theater’s development, including acting in performances, lighting design, and creating costumes, posters and sets. The Esherick and Deeter families became close, and from Wharton Esherick’s affection for the theater and for Jasper Deeter, Esherick made a number of pieces specifically for the theater and for Hedgerow House, the living quarters for many of the actors. He was not paid for these works, he made them out of collaboration and love for Hedgerow Theater and Rose Valley.
The name of one of the early pieces, the Thunder Table, was inspired by a play, Thunder on the Left in which Esherick's daughters performed. (see photo) The trestle is inscribed with the word “Hedgerow” with Esherick's initials, and the date, 1929 on the other side. On the table top, Esherick carved a drawing of two of the characters in a scene from the play.
Other items included in the sale are Hammer Handle Chairs made for the theater, for which Esherick ingeniously used wood formed into handles for hammers, that he had on hand. He built chairs, and a dining table for Hedgerow House for use by the actors. Esherick built and installed a spiral staircase for use by actors to reach the second floor. The staircase would be removed if sold at the auction. Please see the photos below of the pieces and some of their stories.
The Rose Valley Museum is sponsoring the Esherick fund, and all money earmarked for the fund will go toward purchase of the Esherick pieces being sold by Hedgerow Theater at the March 31st auction.
Any funds remaining following the auction will be returned to the donor on a pro rata basis less GoFundMe processing fee.
If you would prefer to donate by check please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your check to Rose Valley Museum, 41 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA 19063. Checks should be made out to The Rose Valley Museum.
We ask for your donation to this effort to keep the Wharton Esherick legacy in Rose Valley. Any amount helps toward this goal. If you have any questions please contact us at info@RoseValleyMuseum.org.
For further information on Wharton Esherick please see the links below.