About The Center for Art in Wood



The Center for Art in Wood interprets, nurtures, and champions creative engagement and expansion of art, craft, and design in wood to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of it.

We achieve this mission through our:
– Collection
– Exhibitions
– Collaborative Residencies
– Education
– Programming and Events
– Research Library, and
– Documentation


What We Do

The Center for Art in Wood comprises the Gerry Lenfest Gallery for changing exhibitions, the permanent collectionThe Fleur & Charles Bresler Research Library, the Len Scherock Museum Store, and The Earl Powell Artist Research Files. It also organizes arts residencies, which are held on an annual basis, and The Wood Shed, a virtual site for accessing programs, talks, activities, and information.

Since its inception in 1986, the Center for Art in Wood (formerly the Wood Turning Center) has been widely recognized by artists, collectors, scholars, and the public as a critical resource for the study of art, craft, and design in the material of wood. Emerging from biannual symposia and exhibitions held between 1976 and 1986, the Center serves an international community as well as its home city of Philadelphia and environs. Under the leadership of founding Director Emeritus Albert LeCoff—a studio woodturner in his own right—the Center supported and documented the developing field of woodturning as a tool for artistic expression as well as artisanal production.

In its location in Old City, the Center offers free admission to its changing exhibitions and access to its permanent collection, which now numbers some 1,200 objects and includes turned objects, sculpture, studio furniture, works on paper, video, and more. One of the most extensive institutional collections of contemporary art in wood, the collection serves as a growing document of this field. The Center’s research library consists of over 25,000 images, artist files, and books that chart the history of wood turning and woodworking and their continuing evolution within the broader field of contemporary art.

The Center’s Windgate international arts residency program marked its twenty-fifth year in 2020. Held annually, the residency program has welcomed over 160 artists, as well as dozens of scholars and documentary artists who capture the experience while developing their own body of work. In 2021, the Center inaugurated a winter residency in partnership with NextFab.

From the first exhibition Turned Object Show in 1981, which was documented in A Gallery of Turned Objects, to the major publication Emil Milan: Midcentury Master, the Center has maintained a commitment to the documentation of its programs and research. These efforts have taken shape in many forms, from books to digital media and online resources that are available to the public. Visit our publications page, here.

The Center’s focus is aimed at fostering appreciation for art, craft, and design in wood and at creating a space for the public to learn, enjoy, and be inspired.

Welcome back to the Center for Art in Wood! We have missed you! Please click the drop-down arrow for more information.

Welcome back to the Center for Art in Wood! We have missed you!

The Center has expanded its public hours and is now open Wednesday through Sunday, 12—5PM. The Center will also extend its hours on First Fridays.

We continue to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Philadelphia municipality. The Center will continue to provide updates via its website, social media channels, and email correspondence if there is any change in our hours or access.  

There are still safeguards in place to ensure a safe and comfortable visit:

Mandatory wearing of masks for staff.
Social distancing (six feet apart) is still encouraged, especially in the collection area.
Additionally, any staff members who report feeling ill are required to quarantine and shelter in place at home. We recommend and require that patrons do the same in order to ensure the safety of everyone.

Whether near or far, you can always visit the Center at theWoodShed.org! This dynamic micro-site and our main website are constantly updated, hosting live talks, studio tours, demonstrations, and much more, on an ongoing basis.   

And the best handmade objects, jewelry, art, and books are always a couple of clicks away at the Center’s online store! https://centerforartinwood.org/store/ 

We wish you continued good health and we look forward to reconnecting at the Center and/or online.  

Be safe and well. We hope to see you soon!  

Questions or concerns about these safeguards? Email us at info@centerforartinwood.org
(and please allow us at least one business day to get back to you!).