Our Town: A Retrospective of Edith Neff
A leading realist painter of her day, Edith Neff (1943–1995) was praised for her dynamic compositions, her sophisticated use of color, and her ability to portray drama in everyday life. She explored questions of race, gender, and identity, probing the social and cultural fabric of Philadelphia. Working from photographs she took herself, Neff made self-portraits as well as pictures of her family, fellow artists and colleagues, friends, neighbors, and students. The city itself was central to her work: its public buildings, playgrounds, parks, pools, schools, and beaches were frequent settings.
Our Town is the first large-scale exhibition of Neff’s work in over two decades. The accompanying catalogue includes firsthand perspectives and commentary from members of the artist’s circle as well as a chronology of her career.
Neff received a BFA in 1965 from the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA, now the University of the Arts). She served on the faculty at PCA and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). She is represented in numerous public collections, including Woodmere, which holds the largest number of her works; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; PAFA; the Delaware Art Museum; and the Minnesota Museum of American Art.
Edith Neff and this exhibition have been featured in the latest episode of Woodmere's podcast, Diving Board. To subscribe and listen, click here.