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One Tank Trip: Demuth Museum

By Karin Mallett, Anchor / Reporter, KMallett@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 17 2011 09:48:13 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 27 2011 05:32:25 AM CDT

More than 30 years ago, the home and studio of Lancaster's most famous artist was saved.

LANCASTER, Pa. -

More than 30 years ago, the home and studio of Lancaster's most famous artist was saved.

Today, you can still see what inspired his artwork.

American modernist painter Charles Demuth grew up on King Street in Lancaster.

His home and studio, where he created 95 percent of his artwork, is now the Demuth Museum.

"You really get the unique sense of being here in the place where Charles Demuth worked and what he was inspired by," said the museum's executive director, Anne M. Lampe.

You can see his mother's brick garden through his studio windows.

Demuth painted what surrounded him, so saving the inspiration was a great idea, but not exactly easy.

"The house had been converted into an insurance agency and so, in the beginning, it was quite an undertaking," said Lampe.

Demuth was the pioneer of a style of painting known as Precisionism, which is depicted by angles called rays. They look like light coming through a stained glass window.

Demuth's family's financial status afforded him the luxury to develop such passions.

Next door to the Demuth home, you'll find Demuth's Tobacco Shop, the oldest continuously operating store of its kind.

In Lancaster, Demuth embraced his family heritage, but out of town he was known as Charles Demuth, pronounced "DEE-mith".

"I think, for him, it was a little jaunty, a little continental and we know that he did that because Georgia O'Keefe nicknamed him "Deem," explained Lampe.

His last name was perhaps just another way to express his creative flair.

The Demuth Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. It is closed Mondays.