April 16th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
Last weekend my husband, son, and I visited the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington. Founded in 1912 in honor of artist Howard Pyle, the museum is situated in a residential neighborhood on a beautiful tree-lined street. With the cherry blossoms in bloom and spring finally here, the drive to the museum was just as lovely as what we found inside.
Before we ventured inside we strolled around the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden on the grounds of the museum. What a perfect day for it! Magnolias were in their full glory, the sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing, and people were out among the grounds sketching buds and blooms. Someone was walking in the labyrinth toward the back of the sculpture garden. Built using seven tons of Delaware River Rock, the labyrinth gives visitors an opportunity to slow down and find quietude—the perfect state, in my opinion, for appreciating art.
The museum’s collection includes 12,000 works for art-lovers of all types to enjoy, from Pre-Raphaelite through postmodern American pieces. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum is showing five other exhibits, including “State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle,” which features more than sixty works from eight important illustrators. I was pleased to see “Creative Powers: Selections from Art Ability,” which showcases works by people with disabilities, and was particularly entranced by “Imagined Places: The Art of Alexi Natchev.” Natchev’s watercolors from his work as a children’s book illustrator pop with color and whimsy. I couldn’t stop looking at them!
A trip to the Delaware Art Museum is wonderful for families like ours who want to start their children on the path toward art appreciation. Between the sculpture garden, Natchev’s children’s book illustrations, and the illustrations from Finding Nemo, Wall•E, and Ice Age that are part of the “State of the Art” exhibit, there was much to keep my son enraptured. He marveled at the Chihuly Bridge and its extraordinary pieces of glass. But by far his favorite work was an art installation piece, Tunnel (found in the postmodern gallery), which you just have to see to believe.
In addition to changing exhibitions, the museum has a full slate of evening events, activities, and programs throughout the year, including the upcoming Art Is Social, Artful Yoga, and Movie Night in the Sculpture Garden. Studio art classes at all levels are also offered for adults, teens, and youth. Be sure to check their website for more information!
Visit the Delaware Art Museum at 2301 Kentmere Parkway in Wilmington (phone: 302-571-9590; toll free: 866-232-3714. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday). Visit the website for more about upcoming exhibits, events, and classes, and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, too!