If you happened to wander into Phillips Mill in the spring of 1929, provided you were a member, you would have witnessed the first organized exhibit of member artists. Such luminaries as John Folinsbee, Daniel Garber, Mary Perkins Taylor, and Henry B. Snell, among others, displayed their paintings inside the 18th century historic structure. Its next exhibition was held in the fall of that year (view the complete catalog). The Phillips’ Mill Art Committee is dedicated to continuing the annual show now open to artists living within a 25-mile perimeter of the Mill. The Mill itself is managed under the auspices of the Phillips Mill Community Association, which oversees other events in addition to the art show, with a respectful nod to the original goals of the first Committee.
As transportation to the bucolic Bucks County region became more accessible from urban centers such as Philadelphia and New York City, it drew more and more artists, writers, and other creative spirits. By 1939, the tight knit members of the Mill agreed to allow three non-members to exhibit that year; an innovation leading to juried shows for regional artists starting in 1945. The war years saw a suspension of the shows, since rationing made travel difficult. By 1949, the show had become so well-respected and popular, that artist John Folinsbee, noted Pennsylvania Impressionist, chaired the 20th anniversary exhibit.
In 1979, the Association celebrated its 50th anniversary with an exhibition of works by artists who had exhibited at the Mill in its first decade. Led by Art Committee Chair Janet Hunt, the event marked the first comprehensive exhibit of these artists and included an illustrated catalogue. From “art colony” to a recognized school of New Hope Artists, the Phillips’ Mill spirit played a crucial role in promoting what became the Pennsylvania School of Impressionist Art.
Today, The Phillips Mill Art Committee works diligently each year to launch the autumn exhibition, a juried show now encompassing all styles of original art from traditional landscapes to post-modern interpretations. Sculptures are included as part of the juried art, and visitors from around the globe eagerly attend what has evolved into a premier art show for the entire region.
To further explore the Mill’s history and the artists who have shown there, check the 75th anniversary illustrated catalogue produced for the 2005 show. It includes a comprehensive history of the Mill and the fascinating people who inhabited this region and who helped fashion the original organization. During the course of the exhibition you may purchase the beautifully-illustrated book at the sales desk. At other times email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in joining the Art Exhibition Committee, contact email@example.com.