Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington

Posted On February 22, 2011 

Nestled on the Kentmere Parkway, the Delaware Art Museum refers to an art gallery that is today a vibrant home of over 12,000 works. This now 100-year-old museum emphasizes mainly on the American arts from the 19th century along with the mid-19th century English Pre-Raphaelite movement. In this recently expanded as well as renovated edifice, you will come across a Sculpture Park, studio art classes, the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, the delART Café with Wi-Fi access for free, an interactive Kids’ Corner learning area, and the Museum Store selling gifts as well as unique books. Above all, the Copeland Sculpture Garden on the grounds discloses the talents of the modern sculptors.

Explore amidst the $30 million refurbished decor the 17 galleries that expose the dazzling displays of American art as well as illustration. In the Delaware Art Museum, there are four areas of focus namely, British Pre-Raphaelite Art, Howard Pyle & American Illustration, John Sloan, and American Art from 1757 until now. Following are the main attractions in the museum.

Jame Turrell & Dale Chihuly installations

This, on the main level, by the famous artist called Dale Chihuly greets you when you enter into the Delaware Art Museum along with the Catherine A. Fusco Hall. The artist is responsible for remodeling the famous Persian Window, creating an archway of radiantly-colored forms of glass plunging above the heads in the foyer of the main entrance’s North Terrace. In addition, James’ new light installation lights up the upper level clerestory windows rendering the edifice a contemporary masterpiece.

Galleries on the main level

In the first floor galleries, you can marvel at the themed installations of the permanent displays. Within the America Vision off the main hall resides the general showcase of the 19th century American art. Look for the stained glass windows as well as The Tempest and Hamlet by the student of Pyle. On the other hand, the Peggy H. Woolard Howard Pyle Gallery is the home of more than 60 works by the artist including over 12 famous pirate paintings.

The Treasure Chest of American Illustration shows the visual of the mid-19th to 20th centuries, which exposes the works of several students as well as the followers of Pyle. Of John Sloan, marvel at the paintings, landscapes, portraits, and drawings of the artists’ early days in New York as well as in Santa Fe.

Upper level galleries

There are two special exhibitions that belong to the Charles Lee Reese Print Collection of the Delaware Art Museum: The French Printmaking Revival and An Obvious Vigour by Seymour Haden. At the Brock Vinton Galleries, there are the works of the students of Howard Pyle including Frank Schoonover, N.C. Wyeth, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle, and Elizabeth Shippen Green.

In the American Art Through Mid-20th Century Gallery, you will encounter the competing, but coexisting influences of American as well as global cultural forces, more particularly in Realism as well as Abstraction. Here, there are works of Charles Burchfield, George Tooker, Reginald Marsh, Hans Hoffman, Andrew Wyeth, Adolph Gottlieb, Norman Lewis, and the latest possession of Robert Goodnough’s Dark Blue Cluster.

If you explore the 20th Century Works on Paper Gallery, you will spot a rotation from the vast collection of paper works of the museum. Mostly, there are contemporary color photos such as the ones by Pete Turner, Barbara Kasten, Ralph Gibson, and Joel Meyerowitz. On the other hand, the 20th and 21st Century Gallery showcases a myriad of sculptures, paintings, wood, ceramics, glass, and textiles by several artists like Audrey Flack (Photorealism) and Robert Indiana (Pop Art). In addition, there are also post-modernism works from Deborah Butterfield, Robert Colescott, Joyce Scott, Richard Cleaver, George Segal, and Grace Hartigan’s Malibu.

Art knowledge

The MBNA Education Wing is where you can attend the classes in the special studio space to know about sculpture, metalsmithing, painting, drawing, and children’s art activities.

The Sculpture Park

This is the place where you will see the sculptures that belong to the permanent collection of the Delaware Art Museum along with the borrowed works as well as commissioned pieces all of which are perched along the twisting, tree lined routes that also hold benches for reflection. This park facilitates an outdoor art experience via the works of Bernie Felch, John Van Alstine, and Lin Emery.


Wednesday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Sunday: Noon to 4:00 pm

Closed on Independence Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

  • Adults: $12.00
  • Seniors (60+): $10.00
  • Students and youth (7 to 18): $6.00
  • Families (2 adults and 4 younger ones): $25.00
  • Sundays: Free
DelART Café

Besides free Wi-Fi, expect seating with the airy vista of the Sculpture Garden and affordable snacks and coffee. This is a new one that can accommodate 40 people indoors and others in the adjacent outdoor North Terrace.

Free tours

Saturdays and Sundays: Highlights Tour at 1:00 pm and Exhibition Tour at 2:00 pm.



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