Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966), Prometheus, oil on panel, 1919

The Illustrated Gallery, Fort Washington, Pa.  For 1920 GE Edison Mazda calendar.

A Date with Art:

The Business of Illustrated Calendars

on view through May 18, 2014

Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth—foremost illustrators in the first half of the 20th century—created some of their best-known images for advertising calendars. Calendars hung in millions of homes, shops and offices, providing artists with an opportunity to disseminate their work to a much broader audience than that for books or magazines.

A Date with Art: The Business of Illustrated Calendars introduces visitors to the once-thriving, lucrative business of illustrated calendars. From Parrish’s haunting work for General Electric’s Edison Mazda brand to Norman Rockwell’s iconic images for the Boy Scouts of America, calendar images contributed greatly to an artist’s popular reputation. Yet just as these four artists reaped financial benefit and fame by creating art for calendars, the connection to commercial ventures at times undermined their critical reputations as artists. This exhibition will reveal the various ways in which Pyle, Parrish, Rockwell and Wyeth integrated calendar work into their careers, adapting to shifting views of contemporary art, illustration and business.   This exhibition is made possible by a generous gift by Linda L. Bean.

N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), George Washington at Yorktown, 1938 / 1939
Oil on hardboard (Renaissance Panel).  Gift of John Morrell & Company. In the permanent collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Image © University Museums, Iowa State University, 2006<

N.C. Wyeth's America in the Making

on view through May 18, 2014

Images of inspirational and patriotic events in American history, from Coronado’s 16th-century expedition through the Southwest to Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address in 1865, will be on view in this exhibition.  N.C. Wyeth’s America in the Making features 12 dramatic paintings, created by the artist in the late 1930s for a popular advertising calendar, and shows Wyeth’s renowned mastery of stirring action and authentic detail. Props from the artist’s Chadds Ford studio, such as a life mask of Abraham Lincoln, a coonskin cap and a Kentucky rifle, will provide fascinating insight into how Wyeth created these paintings. The America in the Making paintings are on loan from the collection of the Brunnier Art Museum of Iowa State University in Ames. An illustrated catalogue from the Brunnier Art Museum will be available.

Wilhelm Schimmel (1817-1890), Eagle, painted wood.  Private collection. 

Wilhelm Schimmel: A Bold Piece of Work

May 23 through June 22

Known for his hand-carved wooden sculptures of animlas, Wilhelm Schimmel (1817-1890) was a Greman immigrant who lived and worked in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in the years following the Civil War. A drifter, he often traded his colorful carvings for room and board or a drink in a tavern as he wandered the countryside.  His larger carvings of eagles--made with only a simple pocket knife--were particularly successful in striking a patriotic chord with Pennsylvanians.  Often in trouble with the law, Schimmel and his exploits repeatedly found their way into local newspapers, growing his reputation as an artisan and a miscreant. This exhibition opens in conjunction with the 2014 Antiques Show and features work from local public and private collections.  Selected by Amanda C. Burdan, associate curator at the museum, the exhibition showcases the whimsical nature of Schimmel's art, which became highly collectible as an authentic expression of vernacular art a century after his death. 

John W. McCoy (1910-1989), Brandywine at Twin Bridges, 1953.  Egg tempera on renaissance panel, 22 7/8 x 30 inches

Brandywine River Museum of Art, 92.9

Gift of Alleta Laird Downs in memory of W. Brooke and Marjorie H. Stabler, 1992

Lure of the Brandywine:

A Story of Land Conservation and Artistic Inspiration

June 7 through August 10

Celebrating the dual mission of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, this exhibition examines the art of the region through the lens of land conservation. The approximately 45 works are drawn principally from the Brandywine River Museum of Art's outstanding collection of American art. The unique attributes of the landscape that attracted artists such as Jasper Cropsey, William T. Richards and members of the Wyeth family to the area are now largely protected by the activities of the Brandywine Conservancy, which works to preserve and sustain the natural and cultural resources of the Brandywine watershed.

Spanning over a century, the exhibition will present artists' responses to the pastoral Brandywine valley while making fascinating connections to the Conservancy's activities that preserve thousands of acres of scenic and natural resources farmland and historic properties. Other Conservancy initiatives, including reforestation, promoting the use of native plants and the creation of trail networks all tie into the overarching goal of protecting the water quality of the Brandywine. Together, the selected works of art convey a strong sense of the region's distinctive identity and reflect the Brandywine River Museum of Art's rich holdings in landscape paintings.  Lure of the Brandywine underscores the innate link between artists' appreciation of the Brandywine region's natural beauty and the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art's commitment to ensuring that legacy for generations to come.

Charles Burchfield (1893-1967), The Moth and the Thunderclap, 1961, watercolor and charcoal on paper, 36 x 48 inches, Burchfield Penney Art Center, The Charles Rand Penney Collection of Work by Charles E. Burchfield, 1994.

Exalted Nature:

The Real and Fantastic World of Charles Burchfield

August 23 through November 16

The vibrant, visionary landscapes of Charles Burchfield (1893-1967), one of the leading American artists of the 20th century, are the focus of this major exhibition. Co-organized by the Brandywine River Museum and the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, New York, the exhibition will feature over 50 paintings borrowed from important public and private collections across the United States. The exhibition will provide a remarkable opportunity to examine the artist’s luminous, spiritual interpretations of the world around him. Following its premiere at the Brandywine River Museum, the exhibition will be presented at the Burchfield Penney Art Center from December 12, 2014 to February 22, 2015.


Brandywine River Museum of Art, U.S. Route 1, P.O. Box 141
Chadds Ford, PA 19317 • Phone: 610-388-2700

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