Woodmere Art Museum is dedicated to the art and artists of Philadelphia. The building and grounds, together with the core of the collection, are the gifts of Charles Knox Smith (1845– 1916), who purchased the estate in 1898 with the intent of transforming it into a showcase for his great collection of art.
A passionate collector of contemporary art in his day, Smith was born of modest means and his life story represents the American dream. He lived in various parts of urban Philadelphia most of his life and purchased the Woodmere estate with the grand ambition to provide spiritual encounters with art in the context of nature’s beauty. Smith opened Woodmere’s doors to the public in 1910.
Woodmere continues to honor Smith’s vision to bring art and nature together and in recent years has acquired important examples of outdoor sculpture by Harry Bertoia and Dina Wind, and Robinson Fredenthal. The collection consists of more than 8,000 works of art. Woodmere’s vibrant, changing exhibitions serve as a platform for an ongoing series of opportunities: family events, tours, gallery talks, lectures, panel discussions, studio art classes, film, and music performances.
Woodmere is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, a distinction held by only approximately three percent of museums nationwide. On the National Register of Historic Places, Woodmere is designated a significant structure that contributes to the historic character of the Chestnut Hill Historic District.