Who We Are
The international leader for contemporary art and creativity in the material of wood.
The Museum for Art in Wood engages, educates, and inspires the public through the exhibition, collection, and interpretation of contemporary art in wood.
We achieve this mission through our:
Education and workshops
Programming and Events
Research Library and archives
Documentation and publications
What We Do
The Museum for Art in Wood comprises the Gerry Lenfest Gallery for changing exhibitions, the permanent collection, The Fleur & Charles Bresler Research Library, the Len Scherock Museum Store, and The Earl Powell Artist Research Files. It also organizes arts residencies, which are held on an annual basis, and provides in-person and virtual talks and activities.
Since its inception in 1986, the Museum for Art in Wood (formerly the Center for Art in Wood and the Wood Turning Center, respectively) has been widely recognized by artists, collectors, scholars, and the public as a critical resource for the study of art, craft, and design in the material of wood. Emerging from biannual symposia and exhibitions held between 1976 and 1986, the Museum serves an international community as well as its home city of Philadelphia and environs. Under the leadership of founding Director Emeritus Albert LeCoff—a studio woodturner in his own right—the Museum supported and documented the developing field of woodturning as a tool for artistic expression as well as artisanal production.
In its location in Old City, the Museum offers free admission to its changing exhibitions and access to its permanent collection, which now numbers some 1,200 objects and includes turned objects, sculpture, studio furniture, works on paper, video, and more. One of the most extensive institutional collections of contemporary art in wood, the collection serves as a growing document of this field. The Museum’s research library consists of over 25,000 images, artist files, and books that chart the history of wood turning and woodworking and their continuing evolution within the broader field of contemporary art.
The Museum’s Windgate Arts Residency Program in Wood (WARP Wood) marked its twenty-fifth year in 2020. Held annually, the residency program has welcomed over 160 artists, as well as dozens of scholars and documentary artists who capture the experience while developing their own body of work. In 2021, the Museum inaugurated a winter residency in partnership with NextFab.
From the first exhibition Turned Object Show in 1981, which was documented in A Gallery of Turned Objects, to the major publication Emil Milan: Midcentury Master, the Museum has maintained a commitment to the documentation of its programs and research. These efforts have taken shape in many forms, from books to digital media and online resources that are available to the public. Visit our publications page, here.
The Museum’s focus is aimed at fostering appreciation for art, craft, and design in wood and at creating a space for the public to learn, enjoy, and be inspired.