"Deem," as some of his friends called him, was born in a Lancaster house on North Lime Street. At age 6, he and his family moved to the King Street home where he spent most of his lifetime.
Demuth's health was frail; from an early age he suffered from lameness and as an adult from severe diabetes. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall Academy and studied at Drexel Institute and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. As a young man he traveled to Paris where he was part of the avant garde scene. Though plagued by illness all his life, he produced over a thousand works of art, including the well known "My Egypt" which was inspired by grain elevators in Lancaster.
During his lifetime he sold many of his works, enjoyed favorable reviews from art critics and was part of Alfred Stieglitz's American Place Gallery in New York. Although he studied and painted in Philadelphia, New York, Provincetown, Paris and Bermuda, Demuth created most of his finished artworks in his Lancaster home where he worked in a small second floor studio overlooking the garden. The garden was tended by his mother Augusta and was the source of inspiration for many of Demuth's paintings.
The Demuth home, built in the latter part of the 18th century, is one of the oldest in Lancaster and once served as a Colonial era tavern. Located next door is the Demuth Tobacco Shop. Founded in 1770 it is the oldest tobacco shop in America.
The Demuth Museum is dedicated to developing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the artwork and legacy of Charles Demuth, renowned American modernist painter, and his family's contributions to the Lancaster community.