Patrons of the arts are seeing red this fall when the Brandywine River Museum celebrates its ruby anniversary. For 40 years, the museum has been a cultural gem – right here in our backyard. It’s one of the most visited attractions in our area. If you haven’t visited, there’s no excuse. If you have, you’ll need to return to see the lineup of special exhibits.
40 is Fabulous
Museum Director, Jim Duff is proud to celebrate the museum’s big anniversary with our community: “The Brandywine River Museum is a unique place that becomes more and more remarkable each year. I am proud that in the 40 years since its opening, the museum’s collections and programs have steadily grown in both quantity and quality.”
Since its 1971 opening in the former Hoffman’s Mill, the museum’s modest initial collection has grown to nearly 3,800 works of art, among which are an enviable treasure trove of major landscapes, still lifes, genre and portrait paintings, American illustration and the art of three generations of Wyeths.
To mark this major milestone, the museum has planned a year-long, museum-wide series of special exhibitions, displays and events. A highlight is the 40th Anniversary Gala, October 15 — billed as a monumental black tie party with artistic food and drink in the tented courtyard. Yes, 40 can be fabulous!
Mark your calendar for several special exhibits at the museum. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Howard Pyle, a seminal figure in American illustration, renowned for his ability to instill great drama in his images, and a mainstay of the museum’s permanent collection.
Honoring Howard Pyle: Major Works from the Collections runs through November 17 and showcases Pyle’s vivid paintings and decorative drawings depicting pirates, Arthurian legends, fairy tales, American history and allegorical figures.
Opening concurrently is Inspiring Minds: Howard Pyle as Teacher, which highlights Pyle as the Golden Age of Illustration’s most prominent teacher and illuminates his indelible influence on American art.
Through November 20, the museum brings together highlights of the permanent collection. Celebrating Four Decades of Collecting will feature major landscapes works by Asher Durand, Thomas Birch and many others in works that represent the natural beauty of our region that has attracted artists here for over 150 years.
A select group of portrait and genre paintings of subjects by Gilbert Stuart and Horace Pippin, true gems of the collection, are also featured and complemented by intriguing works in the trompe l’oeil tradition by both traditional and contemporary artists, including Robert Jackson, Gary Erbe and Otto Duecker.
Three Generations of Wyeths
Even those familiar with the work of the Wyeth family won’t want to miss the unique exhibits this fall. N.C. Wyeth’s Treasure Island, Classic Illustrations for a Classic Tale will be shown through November 20 as Treasure Island celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Featured through January 30, Masterpieces by Andrew Wyeth from the Collections offers the unique opportunity to view rarely seen studies for the museum’s paintings on loan from the Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection.
Representing the third generation, Jamie Wyeth has contributed paintings to the museum’s permanent collection since 1971, including works throughout his long and varied careeer.
Works on view by other members of the Wyeth family — Henriette Wyeth, Carolyn Wyeth, Peter Hurd and John McCoy — reveal each artist’s unique interpretation of nature and the things and people they know well. -CL-
For more information on exhibits, tours and events: 610-388-2700; Web site. Admission is free on Sunday mornings through November 20.