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For Immediate Release:

Wilhelm Schimmel: A Bold Piece of Work
Exhibition on View May 23 through June 22

(Chadds Ford, PA May 22, 2014) Dramatic wooden sculptures of birds and animals, hand-carved in the 19th century by German immigrant Wilhelm Schimmel, are the focus of a new special exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Wilhelm Schimmel: A Bold Piece of Work is on view from May 23 through June 22.

Famed for his carved birds, from large eagles to smaller parrots, Schimmel also created dogs, lions, squirrels and other more fantastic creatures. The carvings, striking in their simplicity, have an expressive and sometimes whimsical nature.

Schimmel (1817-1890) lived and worked in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in the years following the Civil War. A drifter, he often traded his colorful carvings for room and board or a drink in a tavern as he wandered the countryside. He created his extraordinary sculptures with an ordinary pocket knife.

This exhibition of sculpture from local public and private collections, selected by Amanda C. Burdan, associate curator at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, showcases the whimsical nature of Schimmel's art, which is highly collectible as an authentic expression of vernacular art more than a century after his death.

Gallery Talk
On Wednesday, June 4, Burdan will offer a gallery talk entitled "Wilhelm Schimmel and the Original Angry Birds," telling stories about his life and work in Pennsylvania, particularly his colorful carved birds. This program is included with museum admission.

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The Brandywine River Museum of Art, located on U.S. Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 65 and over, $6 for children ages 6 and older and free for children 5 and younger and Brandywine Conservancy members. Museum admission is free on Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to noon through November 24 (except May 25 during the annual Antiques Show).  The museum offers guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio, the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio, and the Kuerner Farm, which may be toured individually or on special package tours.  For information, please call 610.388.2700 or visit

MEDIA CONTACTS: Hillary Holland 610.388.8336 or
Lora Englehart 610-388-8337

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