Perhaps best known for his legacy of philanthropic work, George A. “Frolic” Weymouth was also an accomplished painter. A new exhibit at the museum he helped found looks at his artistic legacy.
“Frolic,” as he was known to most, was very much a man of two worlds. In the public world he was the face of his philanthropic activities. In his private world, he spent over five decades making art. We visited the Brandywine River Museum of Art, which Frolic helped found for the first retrospective of his artistic works.
While many people close to Weymouth knew he was a painter, the volume of his work wasn’t as well known. “I don’t think that they realized the whole scope of his work,” said Thomas Padon, the James H. Duff Director of the Brandywine River Museum of Art.
Weymouth was a very private painter, many of his paintings are of his home or the lands surrounding it or the people who lived or worked nearby. There’s an intimate quality you can see and feel as you view the work. “You’ll see in this exhibition there’s this very hushed quality, and it’s really the people and places that he knew,” Padon said.
One of those places Weymouth knew were the lands of the Brandywine Valley. Not only did he love to paint them, he also worked to help protect them through the Brandywine Conservancy.
Weymouth was one of the three founding members of the conservancy. “They really had the idea to save the cultural and natural resources of this area, and start an organization that would save the landscape and the artists work who have lived here,” Padon said.
The landscape seen in many of Weymouth’s paintings is protected by the Brandywine Conservancy, which now protects over 64,000 acres of land.