Philadelphia Sketch Club

Philadelphia Sketch Club

The Philadelphia sketch club was founded in 1881 by William J. Clark Jr., who was elected president of the club again in January 1881. Other club members included Thomas Anshutz, a PAFA graduate and popular member of the Sketch Club. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1939, Walter Emerson Baum earned Honorable Mention in the Club’s exhibition, and in 1942, Dr. Edgar Baum won the club’s gold medal. During this time, the club also included Peter Boyle, a PAFA graduate who became president in 1949.

Thomas P. Anshutz

The sketch club was established in 1877 and was formally known as the Philadelphia Society of Artists in 1902. It was then known as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and later became the Philadelphia Society of Artists. In 1877, Thomas P. Anshutz joined the club and served as its president. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He painted portraits of members of the Sketch Club and required that the canvas size be uniform. Anshutz served as the Sketch Club’s president from 1910 to 1912.

George Spencer Morris

The Philadelphia Sketch Club was named for a member named George Spencer Morris, who served as Vice President between 1907 and 1910 and Board member from 1902 to 1906. Morris was married to Lydia Ellicott, who founded the Charlotte Cushman Club, a home for stage actresses in Philadelphia. The Cushman Club, named after Morris’s mother, was right next door to the Sketch Club. Morris died in 1922 in Philadelphia, PA, at age 86.

Carol Coogan

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Carol Coogan, she’s an artist, illustrator, designer, and sketchbook enthusiast. She wrote and illustrated “The Backyard Naturalist” newspaper column for over 10 years, and is currently a freelance illustrator for Crane & Co stationery. She’s also a member of The Sketch Club, an art-inspired organization for adults. To learn more about Carol, visit her website at

Frank Hamilton Taylor

Artists who work in this style are known as special artists, and they capture moments communicatively and realistically. The training in special arts further solidified Taylor’s unique style. In 1880, he began writing and illustrating for Harper’s Weekly, establishing himself as a well-known historian in Philadelphia. In addition to being a special artist, Taylor was also an active member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, briefly serving as its president. His participation in the club spanned over five decades.

Don Meyer

The Art of the Flower is a juried exhibition that the Philadelphia Sketch Club presents every year. The exhibit is dedicated to Don Meyer, who served as Vice President for over a decade. His dedication to the sketch club paid off. The show was juried by Eleanor Day, who compiled the entries. Meyer’s illness, however, prevented him from attending the exhibition, but the works are still available online. You can view all the artwork from the exhibition here.