The Preacher (1952)

by Waldemar Raemisch (1888 - 1955)

Photo Caption: Photo Caitlin Martin for the Association for Public Art
North Terrace of Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial (north of Boathouse Row on Kelly Drive)
1952

  • Title

    The Preacher

  • Artist

    Waldemar Raemisch (1888 - 1955)

  • Year

    1952; installed 1958

  • Medium

    Granite, on granite base

  • Dimensions

    Height 8’2″, width 2'8", depth 2'8" (base height 3’11”, width 3', depth 3')

Commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art), bequest of Ellen Phillips Samuel

Owned by the City of Philadelphia


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At A Glance

The Preacher, with his hands cupped near his chin as he speaks, is an emblem of the religious figures who have “guided our ways.” In a letter to the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art), artist Waldemar Raemisch, who fled to the United States from Nazi Germany, referred to his figure as “The Exhorter.” Raemisch later created the bronze groups The Great Mother and The Great Doctor, commissioned for Philadelphia’s Youth Study Center and later moved to the Philadelphia High School of the Future in West Fairmount Park in 2008.

A view of the North Terrace of the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial on Kelly Drive
The North Terrace of the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial. Photo Caitlin Martin © 2010 for the Association for Public Art.

The North Terrace of the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial

The development of the North Terrace inaugurated the final stage of the Samual Memorial. Here the intention was to express not historical periods or movements but rather the “inner energies” that shaped the nation. Two major bronze groups were to represent “social consciousness” and “constructive enterprise,” and the commissions were offered to Jacob Epstein and Jacque Lipchitz. As Epstein and Lipchitz progressed, it became apparent that their two massive monuments would not fit comfortably in the same terrace. Thus, Epstein’s Social Consciousness was installed at the west entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Lipchitz’s The Spirit of Enterprise served as the centerpiece of the North Terrace until, in 1986, it was moved to the Central Terrace.

Sculptures in the North Terrace:

Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).

 

RESOURCES:

Museum Without Walls logo: a program of the Association for Public Art

 

Voices heard in the program:

Penny Balkin Bach is Executive Director & Chief Curator of the Association for Public Art and the author of many books and articles about Philadelphia’s public art.

Kathleen A. Foster is Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Senior Curator of American Art and Director of the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Michael Taylor is the former Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the author of Jacques Lipchitz and Philadelphia.

Segment Producer: Amanda Aronczyk and Ave Carrillo

A program of the Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association), Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an innovative and accessible outdoor sculpture audio program for Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of public art.

User calls Museum Without Walls Audio for Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture
Photo Albert Yee © 2010 for the Association for Public Art

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