The Visionary World of Humphry Marshall was a year-long museum exhibit at the Chester County Historical Society (November 2016 to December 2017). The exhibition was written and curated by artist Adrian Martinez and  showcased twelve of his original paintings depicting the evolution of Chester County from frontier to farmland in the eighteenth century. During this period in Chester County’s history, ordinary people as well as the “great and strange” residents of the area were witness to, and sometimes participants in, Pennsylvania’s transformation into the cultural and financial heartbeat of America.

This show focused on well-known local figure Humphry Marshall, the botanist, astronomer, stone mason, businessman and farmer and others of his era.  The poetic narrative of the original paintings along with artifacts from the CCHS collection and written informational panels all came together to provide a context which brought the eighteenth and early nineteenth century to life for the museum visitor.

The paintings below represent four years of inspiration, research and hard work by the artist.  However, he did not work alone.  Adrian had the help of his wife, Leah, and his son, Sebastian in researching and writing labels. The staff at the Chester County Historical Society worked hard on the exhibit preparation and installation, curating and preparing the historical objects, and fact checking and editing the labels.

Adrian also had the tireless help and support of a large community of friends, enthusiasts and local historians. Each painting was created with the participation of live models (some were historical reenactors), hand-sewn reproduction clothing, and professional photographers who were there to document the process.   Caretakers and private landowners in Chester County gave him the use of important historical sites and numerous, generous people donated their time and creativity to make sure that his vision could come alive. Many individuals and institutions provided the funding to make it all possible.

Although the exhibit is no longer at the CCHS, please contact the artist’s studio (484-273-8352) if you would like to inquire about the purchase of a particular piece, or if you or your organization would be interested in exhibiting selections of the work.

Please feel free to email the artist ( with questions or comments.