Delaware Art Museum, situated on the Kentmere Parkway in Wilmington, Delaware, offers a welcome refuge from the bustle of downtown activities. The facility is part of a nonprofit organization that aims to develop an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the visual arts and their impact on culture. The recently improved building, designed by Ann Beha Architects, greets visitors at its two main entrances with integrated art installations by Dale Chihuly and James Turrell.
The museum was founded in 1912 to preserve and display the works of Howard Pyle, one of America's most beloved illustrators. Wilmington Quaker industrialist Samuel Bancroft donated land for a new museum in 1935 and included his collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Today, the museum houses works by various Brandywine Valley artists.
The museum’s world-renowned collection, more than 12,000 works of art, focuses on American art and illustration from the 19th to the 21st century. The list also includes a selection of exhibits relating to the English Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-19th century. The American Art section includes works of Benjamin West, Frederic E. Church, Winslow Homer, John Sloan, Edward Hopper, and George Segal. A major collection of English Pre-Raphaelite art features works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Edward Burne-Jones.
The 12-acre property encompasses the region’s first landscaped sculpture park. Visitors can stroll along the Magnolia Walk, a paved path through the park, while enjoying works by Tom Otterness, Phillip Rickey, Joe Moss, Isaac Witkin, and William Stackhouse.
A cafe on the premises is open during regular museum hours, as well as a museum store where one can discover artful gifts, books, posters, and jewelry.
Delaware Art Museum also offers a roster of educational classes and programs, including studio art classes, adult programs, a family and children's program, and student/teacher programs. To complement its collections, the museum regularly organizes temporary exhibitions from leading art museums throughout the world. It also presents major exhibitions that frequently travel to museums across the country.
The Helen Farr Sloan Library, which occupies 1,300 square feet on the museum’s lower level, provides a unique scholarly resource for college and graduate students, collectors, and art lovers. The library’s collection of more than 30,000 volumes includes monographs, exhibition catalogues, periodicals, reference works, and extensive vertical files relating to individual artists.
The museum's 168-seat auditorium is available for after-hours events, civic and performing art programs, and family activities.