Brandywine River Museum

Chadds Ford, PA

610-388-2700

http://www.brandywinemuseum.org



2006-2010

2001-2005

1998-2000

 

In 1971, a unique place for American art opened on the banks of the historic Brandywine River in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Nearly 200,000 visitors discovered the Brandywine River Museum that first year.

Today, more than four million visitors later, this 19th-century grist mill that was converted into a 20th-century art museum has established an international reputation for the quality of its collections and programs. Right: Heritage Gallery, Brandywine River Museum

Three galleries in the old mill building boast original structural beams, white plaster walls, and pine floors. The fourth, the Andrew Wyeth gallery, features flexible wall partitions and a unique skylight system. All galleries open from a circular, brick-floored core - a symbolic silo for the old mill - with dramatic walls of glass, providing spectacular views of the Brandywine River and the rural landscape that inspired many of the artists represented in the museum's carefully focused collections.


The Brandywine River Museum collects and preserves American art with primary emphasis on the art history of the Brandywine Valley, on American landscape and still life painting, and on illustration.

Renowned works by N.C., Andrew and James Wyeth and many other artists from the Brandywine region hang near fascinating American still life paintings, important landscapes and an unparalleled collection of American illustration. Instead of trying to replicate encyclopedic collections of other museums, the Brandywine River Museum focuses its collections and exhibitions on American art of the 19th and 20th centuries and primarily art related to the heritage of its region. Left: Andrew Wyeth Gallery, Brandywine River Museum

The Brandywine River Museum is part of the Brandywine Conservancy, an environmental organization founded in 1967. In the mid-1960s, the historic Brandywine Valley in Chadds Ford, which had inspired artists for over two centuries, faced massive industrial development. The impact in floodplain areas, in particular, would have been devastating to the water supply for numerous communities in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware, including the city of Wilmington.

Appreciating the need for fast action, a group of local residents bought the endangered land at auction and founded the Brandywine Conservancy in 1967. Soon thereafter, the newly-formed organization purchased Hoffman's Mill, a former grist mill on the banks of the Brandywine. In 1971, the Brandywine River Museum opened in the mill, which had been converted by architect James R. Grieves in harmony with the surrounding landscape and the region's history and art. Today, the museum is regarded as one of the region's most important cultural institutions.

In keeping with the Conservancy's spirit of preservation, surrounding the museum are stands of wild flowers, trees and shrubs native and indigenous to the greater Brandywine region. The staff of the Brandywine Conservancy selects plants that provide a succession of bloom from early Spring through the first frost, and each plant is located in a setting akin to its natural habitat: woodland, wetland, floodplain, or meadow. The naturalized gardens provide pleasure to visitors, serve as a valuable education resource to horticulturists, and give inspiration to gardeners who wish to use native plants in their own locations. Right: Miss Gratz, Brandywine River Museum

The Brandywine River Museum collects and preserves American art with primary emphasis on the art history of the Brandywine Valley, on American landscape and still life painting, and on illustration. Since 1971,when it was founded, the museum's collections have grown to more than 2,500 works of art by hundreds of artists and thousands of other objects in the N.C. Wyeth Studio and residence. A general description and some highlights of the collections follow.

 

LANDSCAPES

During much of the 19th century, when landscape painting was a dominant form of visual expression, many artists ventured to the Brandywine Valley. By 1819, Bass Otis had published the nation's first lithograph--a Chester County scene entitled House and Trees at Waterside--now in the Brandywine River Museum's collection. Within decades, well-known members of the Hudson River School, including Thomas Doughty, Edward Moran and Jasper Cropsey, had documented the distinctive beauty of the region and are now represented by works in the museum's collection. Some, like William Trost Richards, chose to remain in the area and created powerful works here, such as the museum's Valley of the Brandywine, Chester County (September), painted by Richards about 1886.

Landscape painting has continued in the region throughout the 20th century and is represented in the museum by painters as diverse as George Cope, Clifford Ashley, Peter Hurd and George Weymouth.

 

STILL LIFE AND GENRE PAINTING

Still life painting also has strong roots in the Brandywine region, particularly trompe l'oeil or "fool the eye" painting that was popular in the late 19th century. The museum's collection includes examples by such painters as William Michael Harnett, the acknowledged leader in this type of painting, John F. Peto, George Cope, John Haberle and Alexander Pope. Many of these works were created for gentleman's clubs, pubs and other "masculine" interiors, hence the decidedly male subject matter: often hunting and fishing equipment, dead game, mugs and pipes. The museum's collection includes works by other important American still life painters, including Raphaelle Peale, John F. Francis, Levi Wells Prentice, J. Alden Weir and Walter Murch, among others.

The field of American genre painting in the 19th and 20th centuries is exemplified with important interior scenes by Horace Pippin and Jefferson David Chalfant, both of whom lived and worked in this valley. Such works as Pippin's Saying Prayers, along with several others frequently exhibited, are prime examples of the vital artistic heritage of the Brandywine region.

 

AMERICAN ILLUSTRATION

A major portion of the region's heritage is American illustration. The first illustrator of note was the famous F.O.C. Darley, who left New York in 1859 to settle just north of Wilmington, Delaware. A few decades later, Howard Pyle, who is often called "the Father of American Illustration," also began to work in the Brandywine Valley. Pyle established an extraordinarily influential art school in Wilmington and Chadds Ford, where he trained dozens of artists, including major illustrators such as N.C. Wyeth, Harvey Dunn, Jessie Willcox Smith and Frank Schoonover. Pyle and many of his students are represented in the Brandywine River Museum.

American illustration is a major component of the museum's collection. Among the hundreds of illustrators represented are early 20th century masters such as Edwin Austin Abbey, Winslow Homer, Howard Chandler Christy, Charles Dana Gibson, Rose O'Neill, Maxfield Parrish, and Rockwell Kent, in addition to late 20th century cartoonists, such as Al Hirschfeld, Charles Addams, Edward Gorey and Charles Schultz; and other illustrators such as Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Charles Santore and Nancy Eckholm Burkert. These are only some of the diverse talents revealed in an illustration collection that also includes Reginald Marsh, George Bellows and Frederic Remington.

 

THREE GENERATIONS OF WYETH ART

The Brandywine Valley profoundly affected N.C. Wyeth when he arrived here to study with Howard Pyle in 1902. He married, settled in Chadds Ford, raised a family, and within a decade established himself among America's foremost illustrators with work featured in magazines and newspapers and in numerous very popular books. Several of his best-known illustrations, including works from Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Black Arrow, The Boy's King Arthur, The Last of the Mohicans and other Scribners' classics, are frequently on view at the museum. Wyeth is also represented by fine still life and landscape paintings and portraits.

N.C. Wyeth's five children inherited much talent. Daughters Henriette Wyeth Hurd and Carolyn Wyeth gained recognition as painters and are well represented in the museum's collection. Andrew Wyeth, the youngest son of N.C., has become one of the most influential and well-known painters in the history of American art. Andrew Wyeth's images in egg tempera and watercolor are often thought to be exact representations of scenes or people, but, in fact, Wyeth restructures elements of visible reality, arranging people and objects as he pleases in order to create his private visions of places and people in Pennsylvania and Maine. Many works by Andrew Wyeth are exhibited at the museum; often on view are such well-known paintings as Evening atKuerner's, Night Sleeper, Roasted Chestnuts, Siri, Trodden Weed and Snow Hill.

The third generation of the Wyeth family includes Andrew Wyeth's younger son, painter Jamie Wyeth. By his early 20s, Jamie Wyeth had earned national attention with a posthumous portrait of John F. Kennedy and other work. Later he produced striking portraits of Rudolf Nureyev and Andy Warhol, studies for which are in the museum's collection. Since then, Wyeth has established a distinctive style, characterized by strong images and sharp contrasts in his landscapes and portraits. He is known for his monumental animal portraits, including Portrait of Pig and Raven in the museum's collection, which represents various stages in his changing style.

Selections from the museum's permanent collection are always exhibited.

The Brandywine River Museum is located on US Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. See the museum's website for hours and admission fees.


Google Book Searches conducted in 2008 and 2013 by Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) located the following brochures, catalogues and gallery guides published on paper in connection with the Museum and with a topic of American representational art. The list may not include all relevant publications. Titles are listed by date of publication, with most recent listed first. Information on publications may be in error or incomplete. Titles may be followed by links to related essays published by Resource Library. See Definitions for more information on finding brochures, catalogues and gallery guides using TFAO's website.

 
Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey, by Karen Wilkin, Brandywine River Museum, Pomegranate, 2009 - 124 pages. Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey; essay by Lee Wierenga (4/3/09)
 
The Brandywine Heritage: Howard Pyle, N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, James Wyeth, Published 1971 by Brandywine River Museum; distributed by New York Graphic Society, Greenwich Conn. 120 pages. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Nov 14, 2007.
 
Flora, Fauna, & Fantasy: The Art of Dorothy Lathrop by Anne Roberts, Virginia H O'Hara, Charles J Semowich - 2006 "The exhibition, Brandywine River Museum, March 25 through May 21, 2006. Albany Institute of History & Art, September 16 through December 31, 2006....
 
N.C. Wyeth Arrives in Wilmington: An Exhibition September 7 Through November ... by Newell Convers Wyeth - 2002 Published in conjunction with the exhibition.
 
Milk and Eggs: The American Revival of Tempera Painting, 1930-1950 by Richard J. Boyle, Hilton Brown, Richard Newman - 2002 - 232 pages
This volume examines the American re-emergence of tempera painting in the mid-20th century, when the medium experienced a renaissance in the work of a large...
Milk and Eggs: The American Revival of Tempera Painting, 1930-1950; Exhibition Summary by Mary Cronin (2/6/02)
 
William T. Richards in Chester County: Pastoral Interlude : September 8 ... by Linda S. Ferber, William Trost Richards - Chester County (Pa.) - 2001
Pastoral Interlude: William T. Richards in Chester County, essay segment by Linda S. Ferber and wall panel text of the exhibition (9/18/01)
 
The Fabric of Persuasion: Two Hundred Years of Political Quilts : September ... by G. Julie Powell, Brandywine River Museum - 2000 - 40 page
 
Posters in an Age of Elegance by Virginia H. O'Hara - 1999 Printed illustrated wrappers.
 
The Political Pen of Thomas Nast ,by Brandywine River Museum - 1999. Title from caption.
 
History and Romance: Works by Howard Pyle from the Brokaw Family Collection ... by Howard Pyle, Howard P Brokaw - 1998
 
John Wolcott Adams: American Life and History by Christine I. Oaklander, John Wolcott Adams - Illustration of books - 1998. "The exhibition September 12 through November 22, 1998 Brandywine River Museum, Brandywine Conservancy, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania."
 
Alexander Charles Stuart: Ship Portraits and Marine Paintings : March 22-May ... by Alexander Charles Stuart, Virginia H. O'Hara - 1997
 
Painting in the Grand Manner: The Art of Peter Frederick Rothermel (1812-1895) by Mark Edward Thistlethwaite, Peter Frederick Rothermel, Catherine E. Hutchins, Brandywine River Museum - 1995 - 156 pages. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Brandywine River Museum, Sept. 9-Nov. 19, 1995.
 
Barclay Rubincam Close Up: Reminiscences by Caroline Rubincam, Barclay Rubincam, Catherine E. Hutchins, Brandywine River Museum - 1995 - 42 pages. "An exhibition, January 27-March 10, 1996, Brandwine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania."
 
The Portraits and History Paintings of Alonzo Chappel by Barbara J. Mitnick, David Meschutt, Alonzo Chappel - 1992 - 85 pages. "Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, March 14-May 17, 1992; the Maryland Historical Society, the Museum and Library of Maryland History,...
 
William Tylee Ranney, East of the Mississippi by Mark Edward Thistlethwaite, William Tylee Ranney, Brandywine River Museum, Butler Institute of American Art - 1991 - 88 pages. "Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, September 7 through November 24, 1991; the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, January...
 
N.C. Wyeth's Wild West, by Gònò E. Harris, Newell Convers Wyeth, Brandywine River Museum, Portland Museum of Art - 1990 - 86 pages. "Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, September 8 through November 18, 1990; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, December 6, 1990...
 
A Child's Garden of Dreams: An Exhibition of Children's Books and Their Original Illustrations Early Nineteenth Century to the Present from the Betsy B. Shirley Collection, Brandywine River Museum, 1989 - 80 pages
 
The Art of Rose O'Neill: The Exhibition, September 9-November 19, 1989 : Essay by Helen Goodman, Brandywine River Museum - 1989 - 62 pages. Includes chronology.
 
Henry C. Pitz, 1895-1976: The Art of the Book : the Exhibition, June 4 ... by Patricia Likos, Henry Clarence Pitz, Brandywine River Museum - 1988 - 40 pages
 
Arthur Ignatius Keller, 1866-1924: The Exhibition, June 4 Through September ... by Gene E. Harris, Arthur Ignatius Keller, Brandywine River Museum - 1988 - 36 pages.
Cover title: Arthur I. Keller
 
Arthur Burdett Frost, 1851-1928, Artist and Humorist: The Exhibition January 11 Through May 18, 1986 by Gene Harris, Arthur Burdett Frost, Brandywine River Museum, 1986 - 63 pages
 
Alice Barber Stephens: A Pioneer Woman Illustrator by Ann Barton Brown, Brandywine River Museum -1984 - 39 pages. "Published in connection with the exhibition, 'Alice Barber Stephens: a pioneer woman illustrator,' March 17-May 20, 1984"--T.p. verso.
 
A Poor Sort of Heaven, a Good Sort of Earth: The Rose Valley Arts and Crafts ... by William S. Ayres, Ann Barton Brown, Brandywine River Museum - 1983 - 134 pages.
Cover title: Rose Valley.
 
Walter Elmer Schofield, Bold Impressionist by Thomas Folk, Walter Elmer Schofield, Brandywine River Museum - 1983 - 44 pages. "Exhibition, September 10 through November 20, 1983, Brandywine River Museum."
 
Thornton Oakley, (1881-1953): The Exhibition, January 22 Through March 20, 1983 by Thornton Oakley, Gene Harris, Brandywine River Museum - 1983 - 33 pages.
Text by Gònò E. Harris.
 
Not for Publication: Landscapes, Still Lifes, and Portraits : the Exhibition ... by Newell Convers Wyeth, James H. Duff, Brandywine River Museum - 1982 - 54 pages
 
Working at Olsons: Watercolors and Drawings : from the Holly and Arthur ... by Andrew Wyeth, Holly Magill, Arthur Magill, Brandywine River Museum - 1981 - 32 pages.
Exhibition catalog.
 
ILLUSTRATIONS OF WM. T. SMEDLEY. 1981
 
WORKING AT OLSONS-WATERCOLORS AND DRAWINGS BY ANDREW WYETH. 1981
 
Eakins at Avondale and Thomas Eakins, a Personal Collection: March 15-May 18 ... by Thomas Eakins, William Innes Homer, University of Delaware, Brandywine River Museum - 1980 - 78 pages
 
Henriette Wyeth by Paul Horgan, Brandywine River Museum - 1980 - 61 pages. Includes the catalog of an exhibition held Sept. 6-Nov. 23, 1980, at the Museum.
 
Jefferson David Chalfant, 1856-1931: Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford ... by Joan H. Gorman, Jefferson David Chalfant, Brandywine River Museum, Newark Museum - 1979 - 48 pages
 
Carolyn Wyeth, Artist: The Exhibition, January 13, Through May 20, 1979, Brandywine River Museum of the Brandywine Conservancy: an Interview with Carolyn Wyeth, Carolyn Wyeth, Richard Meryman, The Museum, 1979 - 48 pages
 
The Art of the Carousel from the Charlotte Dinger Collection: An Exhibition ... by Ann Barton Brown, Brandywine River Museum - 1978
 
BEYOND NECESSITY ART IN THE FOLK TRADITION, AN EXHIBITION FROM THE ... 1977. Includes chronology.
 
The Art of American Illustration: September 11-November 21, 1976 by Brandywine River Museum - 1976 - 62 pages. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Brandywine River Museum.
 
Brandywine West: [exhibition] January 18 - May 18, 1975. by Brandywine River Museum - 1975. Exhibition includes works by N.C. Wyeth, Stanley Arthurs, Philip Goodwin, Gayle Hoskins, William Henry David Koerner, Frank E. Schoonover, Dean Conrwell, Peter...
 
Maxfield Parrish, Master of Make-believe: An Exhibition, June 1 Through ... by Brandywine River Museum, Maxfield Parrish - 1974 - 47 pages
 
The Brandywine Heritage: Howard Pyle, N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, James Wyeth by Brandywine River Museum - 1971 - 120 pages. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pa.
 
Prints: Andrew Wyeth, James Wyeth, N. C. Wyeth. by Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, N C Wyeth, Brandywine River Museum - 1971. "The Brandywine Collection of Fine Art prints."

Book information courtesy of Google Books.

Also see:

The Magic Pencil of the Amazing F.O.C. Darley, Exhibition Catalogue, Paperback, 15 pages with color and black and white images. From the exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum January 19- March 10, 2013

Flights Into Fantasy, 2007, Exhibition catalogue of the Brandywine River Museum

For the Joy of It: Applique Quilts from the Judy Roche Collection. Catalogue from the exhibition on display at the Brandywine River Museum January 21 - March 19, 2006. Honolulu Academy of Arts Honolulu, Hawaii from May 24 - August 27, 2006. Paperback, 16 pages in full color.

On 5/29/09 TFAO sent an inquiry letter to Heather Smith regarding TFAO's Institutional Sources Study Project.

7/9/08 - Gail Stanislow, Librarian, Brandywine River Museum said that the Museum prefers not to have its publications digitized for posting on the TFAO website via Conversion of analog text to digital files and online publication of scholarly texts grant participation at this time, but may consider their out-of-print publications digitized for TFAO's site in the future. TFAO replied asking about their interest in TFAO's primary offer regarding financial assistance for Google Book Search placement.

The potential for the essays in the above books to be placed online for free access by the public is of interest to TFAO. For information on digitizing initiatives from non profit organizations please see digitizing initiatives. Also please see commercial ventures. For information on two of TFAO's digitizing initiatives please click here for the Institutional Sources Study Project, here for the Collections-Centric Scholarly Texts Project, here for Resource Library's Scholarly texts services to Institutions, and here for TFAO's grant program for conversion of analog text to digital files and online publication of scholarly texts

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc. (TFAO) neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.


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