Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington

Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington

The Delaware Art Museum is an art museum in Wilmington, Delaware, with a collection of more than 12,000 objects.

It was founded in 1912 in honor of the late artist Howard Pyle.

The collection focuses on American art and illustration from the 19th to 21st centuries, landscape paintings by John French Sloan and the English Pre-Raphaelite movement in the mid-19th century.

After a renovation in 2005, the museum building was extensively expanded with a large sculpture park, the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archive, a studio for art classes, as well as a café and museum shop.

The Delaware Art Museum connects people with art through creative collections, exhibitions and programs.

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History of the Delaware Art Museum

The museum was founded in 1912 after Howard Pyle’s death as the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts, with more than 100 of Pyle’s paintings, drawings and prints. Howard Pyle was one of the most famous American illustrators of his time. He died unexpectedly in 1911 while on a trip to Italy.

After his death, Pyle left many students and patrons in his hometown of Wilmington. These included Frank Schoonover, Stanley Arthurs and Louisa du Pont Copeland, who wanted the museum to honor Howard Pyle. You also wanted to promote art in the US state of Delaware with this museum .

From 1912 to 1922, the Wilmington Society has no fixed location. Annual exhibitions of the work of Pyle, his students and other Delaware artists were displayed at the Hotel duPont. Over time, the exhibition grew in size. Additional drawings by Pyle, donated by Willard S. Morse, were added. From 1922 three rooms in the new library building in Wilmington were rented for this exhibition.

In 1931 the foundation received from the estate of Samuel Bancroft an important collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art and 11 acres of land. So in 1938 the new museum building was opened at this location under the name Delaware Art Center. Shortly thereafter, in 1938, the Wilmington Academy of Fine Arts moved into the Delaware Art Center.

In 1943, the Wilmington Academy of Fine Arts was dissolved and passed to the Delaware Art Center. The building was renovated and expanded with donations.

In 1972, the Delaware Art Center was recognized by the American Alliance of Museums and shortly thereafter renamed the Delaware Art Museum.

Since the 1970s, the collection has been expanded to include modern and contemporary art. In 1987, the exhibition space was further expanded and a lecture room was added. From 2003 to 2005 there was a further expansion of the museum. Under the direction of architect Ann M. Beha, the original building was renovated and three new exhibition wings were created. On June 26, 2005 the museum was reopened.

Delaware Art Museum Collections

The Delaware Art Museum ‘s collections are predominantly late 19th and early 20th century American illustrations, as well as important Pre-Raphaelite works. The museum’s principal collections are the works of Howard Pyle and his students NC Wyeth, Frank Schoon and Stanley Arthurs. There are also other paintings, decorative arts, drawings, photographs and works by other important American illustrators.

In addition, Helen Farr Sloan, wife of the artist John French Sloan, has been collecting donations since 1961, which brought many other objects together.

Since the 1970s, the museum has continued to house works by modern artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Louise Nevelson, Robert Motherwell, George Segal and Jim Dine.

Exhibits at the Delaware Art Museum

We have compiled the individual exhibitions in the Delaware Museum for you here:

British Pre-Raphaelites
Thanks to the passionate collection of Samuel Bancroft, Jr., the Delaware Art Museum has one of the largest and most important collections of Pre-Raphaelite art in the United States. Consisting of paintings, drawings, photographs, decorative arts and illustrated books of Pre-Raphaelite art.

Howard Pyle
Howard Pyle was one of America’s most popular illustrators and storytellers. A top illustrator in his time. His illustrations have appeared in magazines such as Harpers Monthly, Colliers Weekly, St. Nicholas and Scribners Magazine. Pyle pictures tell stories of pirates and medieval adventures. The Delaware Art Museum has a remarkable collection of Howard Pyle’s works and personal papers here.

American Illustration
Displays a range of work by Pyle and his students including NC Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, Frank E. Schoon and other famous illustrators.

John Sloan
Works by John Sloan donated by his wife Helen Farr Sloan are on display here. Among them are many paintings and prints on the subject of human life in cities and people during the early 20th century.

American Art, 19th Century – Present
The Delaware Art Museum collection of American art spans the early 19th century through early American modernism, abstraction, and postmodernism. This collection includes many masterpieces by Raphaelle Peale, Winslow Homer, Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley, Charles Burchfield, Isabel Bishop, Edward Hopper, Norman Lewis, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Jim Dine and Dale Chihuly.

Copeland Sculpture Garden
The large sculpture garden behind the museum includes nine large sculptures and an old reservoir that has been converted into a labyrinth.

Highlights include the 13-meter bronze Crying Giant by Tom Otterness and George Rickey’s Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III.

The Helen Farr Sloan Library and Archives
The Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives is located on the lower level of the Delaware Art Museum. It contains more than 30,000 volumes and 1,000 boxes of personal papers, photographs, and other material pertaining to John Sloan, Samuel Bancroft, Jr., and Howard Pyle and his students. The library is open from Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New Acquisitions
Each year, the Delaware Art Museum adds new works of art to the permanent collection here. These can be visited in this area.

Special exhibitions at the museum in Delaware

The museum presents several special exhibitions throughout the year on themes of nationally known artists of modern historical folk art. Works by Leonard Baskin, Delaware photographer Fred Comegys, Harold Eugene Edgerton, James Gurney, May Morris, Maxfield Parrish, Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle, Frank Schoonover, Marc Sijan and John Sloan have been exhibited here. There were also works from the collections of Royal Holloway, University of London, African American Art and the American Folk Art Museum.

Public tours of the Art Museum in Deleware

The Delaware Museum hosts public tours every weekend. Always on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. The cost of the tours is included in the entrance fee.

Museum store

The Museum Store offers a wide variety of treasures including books, prints, jewelry and an exclusive collection of glass art.

Art Education Studio

In its studio, the museum offers over 100 arts programs per year for adults, youth and children in areas such as drawing, painting, photography, jewelry making and ceramics.

Delaware Art Museum Hours & Admission Fees

The Delaware museum is open Wednesday from 10am to 4pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm, and Saturday – Sunday from 10am to 4pm. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Also closed on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

The museum ticket gives you access to all galleries and temporary exhibitions. Admission is $12 for adults, seniors (60+) $10, students $6, youth (ages 7-18) $6, and children under 6 are free (as of 2016).

Directions to the Delaware Art Museum

The Delaware Art Museum is on the historic Kentmere Parkway in a quiet residential neighborhood.

Address of attraction Delaware Art Museum

Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy
Wilmington, DE 19806
United States


Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington