Edith Neff, Pumphouse
Neff depicts the pumphouse of Pennypack Creek in Torresdale, just north of Philadelphia, where the creek meets the Delaware River. Built in the 1880s, the pumphouse diverted fresh water from the creek for practical use before it flowed into the river. By the time Neff made it her subject, the interior machinery had not been pumping water for decades. But the artist renders it a magical structure that glows in the twilight. A single chair invites contemplation and three gentle steps beckon the viewer.