Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

The Early Work of Ben Solowey
Opening June 9, 2018

Self Portrait

What does one do after celebrating 25 years of exhibitions here at the Studio of Ben Solowey? Start planning the next 25 years of exhibitions!
We are working on a new show scheduled to open on June 9th that will reveal a side of Ben Solowey that you have never seen before. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man will gather the earliest Solowey works extant to demonstrate the Ben had a natural gift for painting and drawing that was evident at a very early age. You will see why painters Edward Redfield and Alice Kent Stoddard, judges of a 1919 exhibition at the Graphic Sketch Club, gave an 18 year old Ben Solowey the first prize: a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
In fact you will see many works that have either never been exhibited before, or have not been on view for nearly one hundred years. It is remarkable that after so many years and shows there are still works we have not shown, but we guarantee you this will be a fresh experience for visitors.
There will be an additional twist because this show will be the first fully organized by the Studio’s Associate Curator, Katherine Eastman. “After nearly five years at the Studio of Ben Solowey, I am thrilled to be curating my first exhibition of his work,” says Eastman. “My hope is that I will be able to show audiences Solowey as only few have ever seen.” She conceived the show, will be selecting the pieces for it, writing the labels and designing the installation.

Cast Drawing, c. 1919-1920

“Visitors can expect to see a variety of works from his three years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia: portraits of family, friends, and lovers, as well as studies of classical works, early still lifes and landscapes,” explains Eastman. “This is Solowey even before he made it to New York.” The original artwork will be augmented by vintage photographs of Ben, his work, studio, and friends that are in the Solowey archive.
A critic from The Philadelphia Inquirer was once concerned that we would run out of ideas for new shows at the Studio. Good news! After more than forty exhibitions, there are still plenty of areas of Ben’s work that we have yet to explore…but we are getting to it.
We will be sharing more with you over the coming months, but circle Saturday, June 9th on your calendar now as you won’t want to miss this exciting new exhibition.