Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

What's On View at the Delaware Art Museum?

Wilmington, Delaware

The Delaware Art Museum is located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo courtesy Delaware Art Museum

The seeds for the Delaware Art Museum were planted in the early 1910s when a devoted group of friends formed the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts in memory of the noted illustrator and writer Howard Pyle, a Delaware native. Since then the Delaware Art Museum (it formally changed its name in 1972) has become an internationally recognized museum boasting an impressive collection that includes works by Pyle and his students, such as Maxfield Parrish; one of the most significant collections of pre-Raphaelite art outside of Europe; and the largest holding of works by John Sloan, a member of the group of New York City painters known as the Ash Can School.

According to Executive Director Danielle Rice, "The Delaware Art Museum has often been called a jewel-box museum. Our unique collections are colorful and accessible and help even novice visitors connect with stories of pirates and forlorn maidens." She added, "Our serene sculpture garden hosts one of the most beautiful labyrinths on the East Coast and is a great place for quiet contemplation. And the children will especially love our family-friendly Kids’ Corner!"

Robert Mangold's 1996 work Violet/Black Zone Study is one of the 50 works donated to Delaware Art Museum by Dorothy and Herbert Vogel.  Comprised of three attached sheets of paper, the artist used acrylic, charcoal, and graphite to create this work. Photo by Florian Holtzherr

This summer the museum has a number of exhibits on view, including a tribute to Haitian art and artists, a century-spanning retrospective of American illustration, and an exhibit that explores British printmaking by artists such as William Blake and James McNeill Whistler. Of particular note is the exhibition Fifty Works for the First State: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. Over the last 60 years, the Vogels---a postal worker and librarian (both now retired)---have amassed a world-class collection of contemporary work by U.S. artists. In addition to a large number of works that the couple has donated to the National Gallery of Art, they have also donated 50 works each to a museum in each state. Among the works received by the Delaware Art Museum are Robert Mangold’s Violet/Black Zone Study (1996) and an untitled 1972 work by Kathleen Cooke. Assistant Curator Margaret Winslow commented on the importance of the exhibit: “The exhibition Fifty Works for the First State: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection celebrates the Vogels and this incredible gift to the Delaware Art Museum. This is a unique opportunity for the Museum to share these works of art with our public—examples that strengthen our ability to tell the story of contemporary American art."

Visit the Delaware Art Museum website to learn more about its collection, what's on view this summer, and upcoming activities, such as the weekly storytelling hour for preschoolers, a Family Fun Summer Concert featuring the Ardensingers (July 9), and a Walking the Labyrinth workshop (July 14).

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