Many people call Wharton Esherick the father of the studio furniture movement. He was know for his saying, "if it's not fun, then it's not worth doing." He grew up in Philadelphia at the turn of the century and trained as a painter. It wasn't until he started making and carving frames for his two dimensional work that he made the transition to wood carving, in his late thirties. "Esherick eventually managed to support his family with his furniture workshop; he bartered oak and leather chairs for school tuitions and persuaded businesses to commission entire interiors."New York Times article by Eve Kahn
"much of his career was spent in relative isolation; a lone artisan pursuing his own vision of high-art craftsmanship during a period when hand craftsmanship was generally held in low regard by American culture. Ultimately, Esherick's work helped lead to the renaissance of the 1960s that re-established hand craftsmanship as the popular and highly-valued activity it is today."(Hoag Levins)
His house and studio are now the Wharton Esherick museum and a national historic landmark.