Our Town: A Retrospective of Edith Neff


Exhibition Artists

Edith Neff

About the Exhibition

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.

Exhibition-Related Events

09.28.19 | Open House Reception | 2-4pm
09.28.19 | Members' Tour | 1pm
10.05.19 | Lecture: On Edith Neff | 3pm
11.09.19 | Teacher Workshop | 10am

In the News

'Out of the picture too soon’: Painter Bill Scott finds the soul of Philadelphia in his late friend Edith Neff’s art

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Painting life in Philly

Broad Street Review

Edith Neff painted Philadelphians as mythic beings — see her great work now in Chestnut Hill

The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Latest and Greatest to See at Philly's Art Museums

Philly Style Mag

Edith Neff's Town: Philadelphia

Vin de Vie

30+ Must-See Exhibitions in Philadelphia for Fall 2019

Visit Philadelphia

Exhibits, concerts and family events fill a busy fall schedule at Woodmere

Chestnut Hill Local

Woodmere begins fall season with Edith Neff exhibit on Sept. 21

Chestnut Hill Local
  • Due to the humidity, Saturday Night Jazz on July 20 will be held INDOORS. This performance is SOLD OUT; tickets will not be available at the door. No refreshments are permitted inside the building.