Delaware Art Museum
A cold gray evening in the early winter of 1912 saw the gathering of a small, diverse group of Delaware residents. Some were artists; others were the entrepreneurs, businessmen, and women of Wilmington; all were good friends of Howard Pyle, the famous American illustrator.
Pyle died unexpectedly in November 1911 while on a trip to Italy with his family. He was only 58. Pyle, one of the most sought-after illustrators in the country, opened an art school at his home studio, which put Wilmington, Delaware, on the artistic map. His most notable students were N. C. Wyeth, Frank E. Schoonover, Elenore Abbott, Ethel Franklin Betts, and Anna Whelan Betts.
Pyle’s friends formed the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts to preserve and exhibit his work. Donations from generous local patrons enabled the Society to purchase nearly 100 of Pyle’s works of art. These paintings, drawings, and prints formed the foundation of a collection that would soon include paintings from some of the most talented illustrators in America.
When the charter of the Society was drawn in 1912, it boasted the signatures of such Delaware luminaries as Louisa du Pont Copeland and illustrators Stanley M. Arthurs and Frank Schoonover. More importantly, it stated a broad vision for the future: “to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of and cultivation in the fine arts in the State of Delaware.”
Delaware Art Museum Hours:
- WED – SUN: 10 am – 4 pm
- MON & TUE: Closed
- We’re happy to offer FREE on-site parking to our guests, located behind the Museum. Parking is accessible from the main entrance on Kentmere Parkway.
- Open Thursday evenings until 8 pm April – December.
- The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
- Personal photography is permitted except where indicated by signage in the galleries.
- Service animals are welcome inside the Museum.
- Enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the Museum’s campus.
- Free Sundays: Admission is free on Sundays and 4 pm – 8 pm on Thursdays from April – December. View Special Discounts.
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