The Works Gallery was founded by Ruth Snyderman in 1965. It is one of the oldest exhibiting galleries in the field of contemporary studio crafts, representing selected artists working in figurative, narrative and functional ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber and wood. Rick Snyderman
joined her in the operation of the gallery in 1972.
In 1983, the Snydermans co-founded a second operation, Snyderman Gallery, to create a specifically focused exhibition space for the rapidly developing areas of studio furniture and sculptural glass, while Works Gallery concentrated on artists in ceramics, jewelry and fiber.
During the 1980s, both became leading national galleries in those fields, mounting landmark exhibitions such as:
- glass and ceramics designed by Ettore Sottsass's Memphis Group
- one of the first exhibits of architect Robert Venturi's post-modern chair &
table designs for Knoll
- Masters of 20th Century Studio Furniture, an exhibit of 10 of the leading artists in the
field, ranging from Wharton Esherick to Wendell Castle
- solo exhibits of work by Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Harvey Littleton, Tom Patti, Toots Zynsky, Richard Marquis, Thermon Statom, Henry Halem, and many other pioneers in the field of glass sculpture.
In 1992, Snyderman Gallery acquired a 6,000 square foot space in the Old City section of downtown Philadelphia, an area that has since become one of the major cultural districts of the city. Today, Old City houses a mixture of more than 50 galleries and design studios, visual and performing arts centers, museums, and theatres, as well as some of the region's top restaurants.
The new space enabled Snyderman Gallery to expand into painting, prints, photography and sculpture. In 1996, the two galleries combined their operations in the Old City area, and began developing commissions and site-specific cultural projects for artists they represent, while
continuing to present solo and group exhibitions, and organizing exhibitions of work at art institutions throughout the United States and abroad.
The Snydermans have been active with many local, national and international organizations, some of the more recent ones being the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Edgecomb, Maine; The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, Pa; and the National Crafts Council of Ireland.
Rick Snyderman Owner
Rick Snyderman has been active in the American Studio Craft movement since 1972, joining his wife Ruth at that time in the operation of The Works Gallery, which she founded in 1965. In 1983, He formed Snyderman Gallery, which specialized in contemporary studio furniture and glass. In the 1990s, he moved Snyderman Gallery to the Old City section of Philadelphia - then a largely abandoned warehouse district - and helped create First Friday, an event that brought thousands of people once a month to that district, spawning the development of Old City as a vibrant residential, cultural and commercial area. Since 2004, he has served as an advisor to the Irish National Craft Council, developing marketplaces for Irish artists in the United States and the E.U. He curated a solo exhibition for American jeweler Bruce Metcalf at the National Craft Gallery of Ireland in May 2011.
Ruth Snyderman Owner
Ruth was the founder of The Works Gallery in 1965. After 45 years, it has merged with The Snyderman Gallery. In 1970, Ruth was an active founder of The South Street Renaissance, stimulating the growth of the arts on South Street. Ruth serves on the Planning Committee for the 40th reunion. Ruth has served on the Board of The Clay Studio and Collab (connected with the Philadelphia Museum of Art), and she is presently on the board of the Watershed Ceramic Center and The Painted Bride Art Center. Ruth holds a business degree from Temple University but has always been interested in art. The gallery stimulates her creative interests, as well as dance performances and ethnic music concerts.
Jen Brown Assistant Director
Jen Brown is an artist living and working in Philadelphia since 2009, following her graduation from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2014, she had work in five exhibitions; four of them were local, and one was a solo exhibition at Yell Gallery which featured her work in several mediums. Jen is enamored with the work of her peers and the cultural excitement in Philadelphia. She can often be found helping friends with art projects, gardening, vermicomposting, the Kensington Community Food Co-op, or making a delicious mess in the kitchen.
Michael Bukowski Preparator
Michael Bukowski grew up in northern New Jersey, is 31 years old, and currently resides in Philadelphia PA. He attended The University Of the Arts and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration. Since then he's worked tirelessly drawing records, shirts, logos, posters, ads, and flyers for hardcore and punk bands from all over the world (including bands from Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America) and traveling to all seven continents and throughout the USA.
Gretchen Cline Gallery Assistant
Gretchen Cline graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington and Jefferson College in 2014 with degrees in French, Art, and Communication Arts. After living in the south of France (where there is a strong Street Art movement), she based her thesis on the transition of graffiti from an act of vandalism to a form of Contemporary Art. She continues to advocate alternative Street Art forms, and was particularly excited to move to Philadelphia to be around the incredible murals throughout the city. In her downtime she likes to ride horses, read, and dance really badly.