Wilhelm Schimmel: A Bold Piece of Work

May 23, 2014 - June 22, 2014
William Schimmel, Eagle, n.d.

William Schimmel (1817-1890), Eagle, n.d. Painted wood, 22 x 29 1/2 x 22 inches. Brandywine River Museum of Art, Given in honor of Harry G. Haskell Sr., by his family, 1993.

This exhibition featured wooden sculptures hand-carved in the 19th century by German immigrant Wilhelm Schimmel (1817-1890).

Although famed for his carved birds, from his large eagles to the smaller parrots, Schimmel also created dogs, lions, squirrels and other more fantastic creatures. An itinerant artisan whose fights and scrapes--often fueled by alchohol--were chronicled in local newspapers, Schimmel's dramatic sculptures, striking in their simplicity, have an expressive and sometimes whimsical nature and are highly collectible today. The exhibition included objects from local public and private collections, selected by Amanda C. Burdan, associate curator at the museum.