October 9 – December 11, 2021
This exhibition will reveal the life, artistry, and achievement of High Woods bluestone sculptor Tomas Penning.
Tomas Penning (1905–1982) was one of the leading sculptors of the historic Woodstock art colony. A Midwesterner by birth, Penning settled on the fringe of Woodstock in the hamlet of High Woods in Saugerties in the early 1930s. Over the course of the next five decades he achieved recognition in the Hudson Valley as “the bluestone sculptor” because of his devotion to this native stone of Ulster County. He embraced bluestone as the medium for his carvings and was an outspoken advocate for its architectural merits…
This exhibition introduces the span and depth of Penning’s engagements and interrogations. His High Woods neighbor, fellow worker in bluestone, and creator of Opus 40, Harvey Fite, referred to his friend as “a poet, philosopher and sculptor,” and further remarked that his “thinking is of the logical and reasonable sort which reminds one of [Thomas] Aquinas… the subtlety of his carvings brings [the fifteenth-century sculptor] Agostino [di Duccio] to mind. Tomas Penning is himself, though in his work he is as simple and direct as the masters of another era….His work, like stone itself, is timeless.
– excerpted from Native Stone: The Art of Tomas Penning, an essay by Bruce Weber.
Gallery hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
The following events will be held in tandem with the gallery exhibit:
Tomas Penning’s Highwoods Grounds
Saturday, October 23rd, 2 p.m.
A tour led by curator and art historian Bruce Weber of the property formerly owned by bluestone sculptor Tomas Penning, including walking the site of his former grand studio and quarry pool, as well as his former house, which burned down in 1991.
Co-sponsor with Shout Out Saugerties. FREE event. SOLD OUT!
Gallery Talk: Native Stone: The Art of Tomas Penning
Saturday November 20th, 2 p.m.
A gallery talk on the Penning exhibition at the Woodstock School of Art by curator and art historian Bruce Weber.
Penning Exhibit Catalog for Sale
Tomas Penning (1905–1982) was one of the leading sculptors of the historic Woodstock art colony. Penning played a principal role in the creation and operation of the National Youth Administration (NYA) Work Center in Woodstock, the current home of the Woodstock School of Art. This 56 page beautifully designed exhibition catalog features the life work of Penning. Curated by art historian Bruce Weber in collaboration with Paula Nelson and John Kleinhans. Softcover.