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Library Ladder
Steps with Elephant- and Donkey-Shaped Finials

Wharton H. Esherick, American, 1887 - 1970

Made in Paoli, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America


Hickory, oak

34 3/4 x 18 x 23 1/4 inches (88.3 x 45.7 x 59.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of Rachel Bok Goldman and Allen S. Goldman, M.D., 2001

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Philadelphia-born Wharton Esherick trained as a painter but by the mid-1920s had shifted his focus to carving wood furniture and sculpture. When commissioned in 1935 to renovate the first floor of Curtis and Nellie Lee Bok’s home in Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania, Esherick created a masterpiece of stylistically inventive architectural elements and furniture.

A judge, Curtis Bok had enjoyed bipartisan support when elected, which Esherick whimsically references with the donkey and elephant finials on the steps.