Ready for a fun new Dumpster Diver house tour? Meet Ellen Benson…

It’s tour time again!

Over the past 8 months,  Unexpected Philadelphia has taken you to 8 inspiring, art-filled homes belonging to the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers – that warm and wacky band of artists and collectors who exhibit,  socialize and produce witty,  up-cycled art together.

Today we’re heading to the home and studio of Ellen Benson,  sister of Divers’ co-founder Neil Benson,  whose house we’ve already visited.

16_02_05 01 Ellen Benson Wall DC_2211(Ellen in her living room with what she modestly calls “The Wall”.
About a third of the work is hers; the rest hails from around the globe.)

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Dumpster Divers at Dupree Gallery Thru Jan. 30

If you follow our Unexpected Philadelphia website,  you’ve toured eight wildly creative homes and studios belonging to members of the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers – that merry band of found-object artists who prove  (in the words of co-founder Neil Benson)  that “Trash is simply a failure of imagination.”

16_01_12 01 Diver Dupree Show DC_1152(Divers take to the walls of the Dupree Gallery.)

And now through January 30,  you can experience their work firsthand at Philadelphia’s Dupree Gallery in Queen Village.

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“Colonial Revival Meets Dumpster Diver” House Tour: Ann Keech

First, take famed architect R. Brognard Okie,  who designed a Colonial Revival masterpiece for a young married couple in 1902.   (Paid for by the groom’s father, of course….)

15_12_01 1 Okie Inglenook_9287(This wonderfully inviting inglenook shows Okie’s love of woodwork and clever design.  With those big windows on the landing,  how did he hide the fireplace chimney?)

Next,  take Ann and Ev Keech,  who stumbled on the fixer-upper home just outside Philadelphia in 1977,  and began administering tender loving care while raising three children there.

15_12_01 2 Okie Dining Room_9305(Did we mention the elaborate woodwork?  And,  yes,  Okie carefully designed the fireplace columns to match those seen outside on the porch.)
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