Past Exhibitions

2013    2012    2011    2010

Horace Pippin (1888-1946), Harmonizing, 1944, oil on fabric, 24 x 30 in. Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio. Gift of Joseph and Enid Bissett, 1964

Horace Pippin (1888-1946), Interior (also known as Interior of Cabin), 1944, oil on fabric. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer P. Potamkin in honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1991


Horace Pippin (1888-1946), Self-Portrait (II), 1944, oil on canvas adhered to cardboard, 8 x 6 1/2". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Jane Kendall Gingrich, 1982

Horace Pippin: The Way I See It

April 25 through July 19, 2015

One of the leading figures of 20th-century art, Horace Pippin (1888-1946) is known for his insightful, expressive and bold paintings. The exhibition will examine the work of Pippin, a self-taught artist who remained independent-creating and upholding a unique aesthetic sensibility. Pippin vividly depicted a range of subject matter, from intimate family moments and floral still lifes to powerful scenes of war, history and religion. Horace Pippin: The Way I See It will include 65 paintings-close to half of the artist’s oeuvre-assembled from museums and private collections across the United States. The Brandywine River Museum of Art will be the only venue for this exhibition, the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in more than 20 years.

Taking its title from Pippin's response to his own question about what made him a great painter: "I paint it exactly the way it is and exactly the way I see it," the exhibition will look closely at Pippin as a self-taught artist who remained independent—creating and upholding a unique aesthetic sensibility, vividly depicting a range of subject matter, from intimate family moments and bold floral still lifes, to powerful scenes of war, history and religion.

Pippin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, less than 10 miles from the Brandywine, but grew up in Goshen, New York. He eventually returned to West Chester in 1920 after serving in World War I as part of the renowned African-American regiment known as the "Harlem Hellfighters."  The war, Pippin would later declare, “brought out all the art in me.”  Despite a war injury that severely limited the use of his right arm, Pippin created an illustrated journal of his war experience on his return home, and by 1930 had begun teaching himself to paint in oil using his left arm as a support for his right hand.  

Pippin painted in relative obscurity during most of the 1930s. Though his work was well known to his neighbors and sometimes displayed in local businesses, it was not until 1937 that his paintings gained wider public recognition when he exhibited two works at the Chester County Art Association's annual exhibition. Awarded a special mention by N.C. Wyeth, who was judging the show and helped ensure that Pippin's paintings were shown prominently, Pippin immediately garnered local press attention. Wyeth also persuaded the art critic and collector Christian Brinton to arrange for Pippin to have a solo exhibition at the West Chester Community Center, where the artist showed 10 oils and seven burnt-wood panels.

Pippin’s rise to prominence was meteoric after 1937. The Museum of Modern Art featured four of his works the following year, and he was quickly embraced nationally by other museums, galleries, critics and collectors who valued the self-taught artist's style—characterized in his time as "primitive," or "naïve”—for its perceived pureness of expression. Patrons ranged from Albert C. Barnes and Edith Halpert to Hollywood figures such as Edward G. Robinson. 

Despite this general labeling of his work at the time as "naive," and Pippin himself as unsophisticated, the truth is quite different. Pippin was an astute observer of the world, and his paintings reflect his deeply personal connections to the issues that concerned him—such as peace and social justice—as well as his own experience. The exhibition will present a comprehensive, nuance examination of this seminal artist. It will reveal the richly varied sources of inspiration and traditions that informed the evolution of Pippin’s style, and will introduce Pippin’s fierce vision to a new generation of museum visitors.  

Horace Pippin: The Way I See It will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue featuring insightful essays by exhibition curator Audrey Lewis, and guest authors Judith Dolkart, Jacqueline Francis, Kerry James Marshall, Anne Monahan, and Edward Puchner. It will be available in the Museum shop and online.

The exhibition is made possible by the Exelon Foundation and PECO. Additional support provided by The Davenport Family Foundation, Wyethe Foundation for American Art, and Dr. Benjamin Hammond.

Visit sites in West Chester associated with Horace Pippin with this guide.

Ariel A., grade 5, Chester County Landscape, 2015 Pastel and glue on paper, 9 x 11 in. Friendship Elementary School, Coatesville, PA

Imagine Brandywine

May 3 through July 26, 2015

Imagine Brandywine is a series of multidisciplinary art projects created by area students and inspired by the collections and surroundings of the Brandywine River Museum of Art. This display features work by first and fifth grade students from Friendship Elementary in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Under the direction of art teacher Mary Carol Sayles, the students took Horace Pippin's life and art, in particular still lifes, as a catalyst for their own expressive creations. Imagine Brandywine is sponsored by the Thorndale Rotary Club.

©Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946), A Murder of Crows (2003), oil on canvas. Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth

©Jamie Wyeth (b. 1936), Voyeur (2012), combined mediums. Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth

©Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946), Portrait of Shorty (1963), oil on canvas. Collectin of Andrew and Betsy Wyeth

Jamie Wyeth

January 17 through April 5, 2015

Featuring more than 100 works, this major retrospective examines six decades of the artist's career and charts the evolution of his creative process from his earliest childhood drawings through recurring dreams inspired by the people, places and objects that populate his world. The third generation in a renowned family of artists, Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946) has blazed his own path. The exhibition incorporates paintings, works on paper, illustrations, and two recent sculptural works.

Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, the exhibition offers a sense of the artists's development over 60 years, from portraits made during his time in New York to landscapes of the worlds he inhabits in Chadds Ford and Maine. Wyeth's family context is explored with works including childhood drawings and his earliest portraits--created in his father's and grandfather's studios, where he worked under the tutelage of his Aunt Carolyn. Thematically arranged, Jamie Wyeth includes portraits of subjects such as John F. Kennedy, Wyeth's wife, Phyllis, and Rudolf Nureyev, shown alongside a selection of preparatory drawings and studies that offer a window into the artist's immersive approach to portraiture.

The exhibition will also feature landscapes of the worlds he inhabits in the Brandywine Valley and Maine—especially the islands of Tenants Harbor and Monhegan—still lifes of pumpkins (a fascination from his youth) and the many animals and birds that are part of his family and surroundings. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and accompanied by an extensively illustrated catalogue, the exhibition will travel to two additional venues.

At the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the exhibition is sponsored by Natalie and Herb Kohler on behalf of Kohler, Co., and by David and Lisa Spartin. The national tour is sponsored by Bank of America.


©Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), Roasted Chestnuts (1956), tempera on panel. Gift of Harry G. Haskell, 1971

Andrew Wyeth: Lines of Thought

September 20, 2014 through March 15, 2015

Over his remarkable seven-decade career, Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) created thousands of drawings in pencil and watercolor, a body of work that he rarely exhibited. The drawings in this exhibition provide a fascinating glimpse into his creative process. They were created by Wyeth in preparation for four paintings Faraway (1952), Corner of the Woods (1954), Roasted Chestnuts (1956), and Garret Room (1962). Each drawing is part of the process Wyeth used to work out his vision for his paintings. Many were sketched outdoors, and reveal Wyeth's immediate response to figures or objects in a composition. The exhibition includes 23 sketches and three paintings.

Wyeth rendered his subjects in pencil drawings made with quick, gestural jabbing marks, contour lines, a range of shaded tones and dotted and scribbled lines. In the watercolor studies he wielded the brush freely to create flowing washes and dry, ragged swaths, and drew fine pen-like lines with the tip.

As these sketches show, Wyeth focused in with raw energy on aspects of the composition isolating each element, whether a human figure or a treeand distilling its essence. The drawings made quickly in comparison to the time-intensive medium of tempera paintings in which he excelled allowed him an important degree of spontaneity. As the artist said, "My struggle is to preserve that abstract flash like something you caught out of the corner of your eye... that momentary off-balance quality in the very base of the thing."

N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), “They fought with him on foot more than three hours, both before him and behind him," Illustration for The Boy's King Arthur, 1917, oil on canvas, 40 1/8 x 31 7/8 inches. Private collection

Enchanted Castles and Noble Knights

November 28, 2014 through January 4, 2015

Unforgettable, iconic paintings and drawings that illustrate the romance and daring stories of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and other tales of quests and chivalry will be on view. These legends were immensely popular in the late 19th century, and artists of America’s Golden Age of Illustration (1880-1930) took up brush and pen to create art as dramatic as the stories. This exhibition will include a selection of Howard Pyle’s intricate, compelling pen drawings depicting Arthurian legends, and N.C. Wyeth’s gorgeously colored, romantic paintings for illustrated editions of The Boy’s King Arthur and The White Company, as well as work by Walter Crane, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Maxfield Parrish, Louis Rhead, Frank Schoonover and others will also be on view. Over 35 works of art are drawn from private collections and from the rich holdings of the Brandywine River Museum of Art. The exhibition will feature a model medieval castle owned by Andrew Wyeth. Made for him in 1927 by his brother Nathaniel and painted by their father N.C. Wyeth, the castle reminds us that such tales did indeed spark imaginations. The exhibition is supported by the Davenport Family Foundation Fund for Exhibitions.

Charles e. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Fragrance of Spring (also known as Bee Hepaticas) circa 1962, watercolor and charcoal and chalk on Bee watercolor paper mounted on board, the Spiro Collection, courtesy of Debra Force Fine Art, New York

Exalted Nature: The Real and Fantastic World

of Charles E. Burchfield

August 23 through November 16, 2014

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, featuring 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. This exhibition was co-organized by the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Click here to see images.

At the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the exhibition has been generously sponsored by Chuck and Adriane Bowers, in honor of Matthew DiSalvo, an artist and outdoorsman. Additional support has been provided by Morris and Boo Stroud.

Matthew Jensen, Alongside Tall Grasses (detail)

Matthew Jensen: Alongside Tall Grasses

August 23 through November 16, 2014

The scenic backdrop of the Brandywine River inspires a newly commissioned work by Brooklyn-based artist Matthew Jensen, an artist known for embracing new photographic technology. This museum installation derives from immersive walks taken by Jensen throughout the summer months in the landscapes along the Brandywine and its tributaries. The verdant slopes, quiet footpaths, native flora, historic towns and small discoveries are all subjects in Jensen’s photographic work.

George A. Weymouth (b. 1936), Indian Hanna, 1990, watercolor on panel

John W. McCoy (1910-1989), Brandywine at Twin Bridges, 1953, tempera on renaissance panel

Lure of the Brandywine:

A Story of Land Conservation and Artistic Inspiration

June 7 through August 10, 2014

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 from private and public collections, as well as the Museum's own holdings. 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 through the efforts 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 presents 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.

This exhibition is made possible by PECO. Additional support is provided by Victory Brewing Company.

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

Wilhelm Schimmel: A Bold Piece of Work

May 23 through June 22, 2014

This exhibition features wooden sculptures hand-carved in the 19th century by German immigrant Wilhelm Schimmel (1817-1890). Although famed for his carved birds, from his large eagles to the smaller parrots, Schimmel also created dogs, lions, squirrels and other more fantastic creatures. An itinerant artisan whose fights and scrapes--often fueled by alchohol--were chronicled in local newspapers, Schimmel's dramatic sculptures, striking in their simplicity, have an expressive and sometimes whimsical nature and are highly collectible today. The exhibition features objects from local public and private collections, selected by Amanda C. Burdan, associate curator at the museum.

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

January 25 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

January 25 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.

Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946), Jenny Whibley Sings, 2008, oil on board, Jamie and Phyllis Wyeth Collection.


Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), Cranberrying, Monhegan , c. 1907. Oil on canvas. Terra Foundation for American Art, Gift of Mr. Dan Burne Jones, C1983.4

© Courtesy Plattsburgh State Art Museum, State University of New York, USA, Rockwell Kent Collection, Bequest of Sally Kent Gorton. All rights reserved.

Jamie Wyeth, Rockwell Kent and Monhegan

June 15 through November 17, 2013

A small island off the coast of Maine, Monhegan has long lured artists to its remote shores, promising dramatic ocean vistas, rugged landscapes, and inspiring scenes of men struggling against the forces of nature. This exhibition examines the fascination that the island of Monhegan and its residents held for both Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) and Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946).  Although the two artists never met, their paintings, when viewed together, depict a century’s worth of Monhegan life and landmarks from vantage points most other artists never beheld.  The exhibition will include examples of some of Wyeth’s most recent paintings and a number of works from his personal collection of Kent’s coastal views of the Monhegan headlands. Wyeth’s paintings, on the other hand, are often created with his “back to the sea,” as he describes it, focusing on the people who inhabit the island.  The Brandywine River Museum is expanding upon the original exhibition, including more than a dozen additional works and the debut of a new painting by Wyeth.

The exhibition is organized by the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine. Funding for the exhibition has been provided by The Crosby Kemper Foundation, Mr. Richard Gilder and Ms. Lois Chiles, Mr. and Mrs Joseph Pyne, John and Anne Surovek, Mr. and Mrs. George Twigg III, and donors who wish to remain anonymous. At the Brandywine River Museum the exhibition is supported by The Davenport Family Foundation Fund for Exhibitions.

“Index Horse” weathervane, attributed to J. Howard & Co., Bridgewater, Massachusetts, circa 1850, copper and cast zinc, 20 x 24 inches, Private Collection.

Which Way the Wind Blows:
Antique American Weathervanes

May 25 through July 28, 2013

Functional and artistic, weathervanes roosted over American buildings both humble and high style—barns and banks, churches and courthouses.  Viewed today as folk art, weathervanes were one of the earliest sculptural forms in the United States. Weathervane forms run the gamut through history beginning at the Temple of the Winds in ancient Athens, where the figure of Triton—cleverly designed to always face the direction of the wind—topped the structure. In America, colonial craftsmen fashioned unique weathervanes, such as Shem Drowne’s grasshopper atop Boston’s Faneuil Hall, which were later imitated, mass-produced and offered through mail-order catalogues. The exhibition, which will include 28 weathervanes, covers the variety of forms popular in this country as well as the finer points of interest to collectors including finishes, manufacturers and matters of authenticity. 

Ides of March, 1974 tempera on panel,

© Andrew Wyeth. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Fowler.

Andrew Wyeth's "Ides of March":

The Making of a Masterpiece

March 15 through May 27, 2013

This exhibition offered a historic opportunity to view Andrew Wyeth's rarely-seen tempera painting, Ides of March (1974), along with more than 30 of the studies that were instrumental to his development of the composition. Assembled together for the first time, these provided remarkable insight into the artist's creative approach and evocative imagery. The exhibition was generously funded by .

F.O.C. Darley (1822-1888), Pfalz Castle, on the Rhine (detail), 1866, pencil and watercolor on paper, Collection Brandywine River Museum, Museum Purchase, 2005

The Magic Pencil of the Amazing

F.O.C. Darley
January 19 through March 10, 2013

More than 60 works by Felix Octavius Carr Darley, whose talent in book and magazine illustrations made him the most popular illustrator of his day, will be on view in this exhibition.  Darley (1822-1888) received praise for his "magic pencil," immortalizing the fictional characters created by the most famous authors of his day, including Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.  He was also renowned for his drawings and prints related to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and the American frontier.  This exhibition included works from the Brandywine River Museum’s rich permanent collection, as well as loans from the Darley Society and several private collectors.  Among the objects to be included are illustrations for Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Irving’s Life of George Washington, and Shakespeare’s As You Like It, as well as the artist’s sketch book from his European tour, banknote engravings, and numerous illustrated books. 

Pop-Up! Illustration in 3-D
November 23, 2012 through January 6, 2013

With the element of surprise and the excitement of motion, pop-up books delight everyone.  Pop-Up! Illustration in 3-D presents a selection of pop-up books that range from late 19th century examples to the sophisticated constructions designed by contemporary paper engineers such as David Carter, Chuck Fischer, Bruce Foster, Chuck Murphy, Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda.  To show the complexity of the artist/illustrator’s process, the exhibition includes pre-production mock-ups by Chuck Fischer, Edward Gorey and Robert Sabuda.  The exhibition is drawn largely from the extensive collection of Ann Montanaro Staples, founder of The Movable Book Society and preeminent authority on movable books. 

Horst Janssen (German, 1929-1995), Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, 1988, Collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art © ARS, NY/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Picturing Poe: Illustrations for
Edgar Allan Poe's Stories and Poems

September 8 through November 15, 2012

Édouard Manet, Gustave Doré, Paul Gauguin, James Ensor, Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Rackham, Harry Clarke, Barry Moser and Robert Motherwell are among the more than two dozen artists featured in Picturing Poe: Illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe's Stories and Poems. From the seemingly straightforward to the abstract, each artist's work reflects his or her own time and personal interpretation of Poe's work. The exhibition is supported by The Davenport Family Foundation Fund for Exhibitions.

Open Shutter (Study for My Studio), 1974, watercolor, © Andrew Wyeth

A Painter's View: The Andrew Wyeth Studio
March 27 through November 4, 2012

This exhibition features the artist's own view of his studio in paintings and drawings lent from private collections. Created between 1943 and 2005, these works reflect Wyeth's interest in the building's spare and aged interior and reveal informal moments with individuals who often posed there. Of the approximately 20 paintings on display, half have never before been on view to the public. The gallery also includes many of the artist’s major works painted in the studio over his 70-year career.

N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), Untitled (view of Eight Bells), circa 1932, oil on canvas, Collection of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Eugene Ormandy, 1991
Summer Sojourns: Art on Holiday
June 9 through September 3, 2012

Visitors to the galleries will enjoy a visual journey to rocky sea coasts and sandy shores, tropical settings and mountainous vistas. They will also enjoy depictions of pastoral landscapes, European cities and villages, Middle-Eastern markets, Asian rice paddies, and bamboo forests. These scenes and more appear in the exhibition Summer Sojourns: Art on < Holiday, which offers nearly 100 paintings, drawings, and prints from the collection.


Pierced, Punched, Painted: Decorated Tinware from Winterthur

May 26 through July 15, 2012

Long before the Tin Man character danced in The Wizard of Oz, the profession of tinsmith was an essential one in urban and rural America. Craftsmen who worked the metal made a wide range of useful household items, including food containers and dining wares, baking tins and cookie cutters, candle holders and lanterns, bathing tubs, toys and whimsical ornaments.  Most of the antique tinware that survives was cherished and preserved because it had lively painting or surface decoration. This display of decorated tinware selected from the Winterthur Museum collection demonstrates how such humble material might appeal to every taste and delight its users.

N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945), On the October Trail, Scribner’s, October 1908, oil on canvas, 1907, Brandywine River Museum of Art, Museum purchase

Scribner's Magazine: The Early Years in Illustration

 March 17 through May 20, 2012

The exhibition will introduce visitors to the importance of the illustrated magazine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and emphasize the primacy of Scribner’s Magazine during the “golden age of illustration.” Scribner’s art editors hired the best artists and illustrators, and the exhibition will feature the works of many of these artists, among them Robert Blum, Charles Dana Gibson, Thornton Oakely, Rose O’Neill, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, Frank Schoonover, John H. Twachtman and N. C. Wyeth. Scribner’s also kept pace with technological developments in printing, and the exhibition will show the effects of radical changes in printing techniques that occurred between 1887 and 1912. The earliest illustrations in the magazine were reproduced as wood engravings. By January 1912, the magazine routinely printed four color reproductions.

© William Steig (1907-2003), Untitled (Statue Pointing at a Woman), circa 1985, ink and wash on paper, 9 5/16 x 9 13/16 in., permanent collection, Gift of Jeanne Steig


Comic Catharsis: A Gift of Cartoons by William Steig

 January 21 through March 11, 2012

Although best know today as the creator of Shrek, William Steig (1907-2003) first achieved famr for his cartoons and covers for The New Yorker and his published books of drawings such as The Lonely Ones (1942), Small Fry (1944) and Dreams of Glory and Other Drawings (1953). His situational gags are humorous and offer keen observations on various aspects of human relationships. Later in Steig's career he began creating children's books that explore, in a lighter vein, many of the same themes as his cartoons for adults. Steig wrote and illustrated over 30 acclaimed works for children, including the Caldecott-winning Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1969) and Shrek! (1990). The exhibition will feature over 100 works donated to the museum in 2010 by Jeanne Steig from the artist's estate, as well as selected works for children on loan from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and private collections.

Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) Siri (1970), tempera on panel, collection of the Brandywine River Museum of Art. 2013 Brandywine Conservancy
Masterpieces by Andrew Wyeth
from the Collections
September 24, 2011 through January 29, 2012

The museum’s superlative collection of works by Andrew Wyeth demonstrates a range of styles and subject matter representing the artist’s 75-year career. These works record the artist’s view of the landscape and his experiences with people and places. In addition, a selection of studies for these paintings is lent from the Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection. These seldom-seen works in pencil and watercolor demonstrate the artist’s close observation of form and his exploration of color and mood.

N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), All day he hung round the cove, or upon the cliffs, with a brass telescope (detail) (1911), oil on canvas, collection of the Brandywine River Museum.

N.C. Wyeth's Treasure Island,

Classic Illustrations for a Classic Tale

September 10 through November 20, 2011

2011 is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island with illustrations by N.C. Wyeth. The famous edition was a critical and popular success, established Wyeth among the period’s foremost illustrators, and became the iconic Treasure Island for generations of readers. To mark the anniversary, all 16 dramatic paintings created by Wyeth will be on display together for the first time since they left the artist’s studio a century ago. The exhibition also presents some Treasure Island productions of the last 100 years created by the many illustrators, theater and film directors and even digital application designers who have been influenced by Wyeth’s imaginative vision. These productions are as varied as a 1915 stage version and Disney’s 2002 movie Treasure Planet.

Howard Pyle (1853-1911), The Nation Makers, 1903, oil on canvas, Illustration in Collier's Weekly, June 2, 1906, Collection of Brandywine River Museum.

Honoring Howard Pyle:
Major Works from the Collections

September 17 through November 17, 2011

The imaginative and fluent work of Howard Pyle (1853-1911) has thrilled readers and inspired generations of artists. This exhibition, drawn from the museum’s collection, will present a selection of vivid paintings and decorative drawings featuring pirates, Arthurian legends, fairy tales, events in American history and allegorical figures that made Pyle the most famous illustrator of his generation.

Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935), Little Women, c. 1915, mixed media on illustration board, illustration for Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Boston: Little, Brown & company, 1915, collection of the Brandywine River Museum.

Inspiring Minds: Howard Pyle as Teacher

September 17 through November 17, 2011

As a teacher of illustration from 1894 to 1905, Howard Pyle (1853-1911) inspired the careers of both young and seasoned illustrators. This exhibition examines Pyle’s teaching methods that honed the skills of Jessie Willcox Smith, Thornton Oakley, Frank Schoonover, N.C Wyeth and many others. It includes examples of students’ class assignments as well as of their mature work. Period photographs that document activities of Pyle’s classes are also presented.

William Trost Richards (1833-1905),

The Valley of the Brandywine,

Chester County (1886-87), oil on

canvas, Collection of the

Brandywine River Museum.

Celebrating Four Decades of Collecting

September 24 through November 20, 2011

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the museum’s galleries are filled to reflect the collection’s diverse landscapes, still life and genre painting, illustrations, as well as the work of N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, and the Wyeth family.


© Jamie Wyeth (born 1946), Basket Hook,

c. 1981, combined mediums and drybrush on paper, 19 ½ x 24 ½ inches, collection of

Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Wyeth.

Farm Work by Jamie Wyeth

June 11 through September 11, 2011

Farms have long provided rich sources of imagery for Jamie Wyeth. This exhibition surveys five decades of his lively depictions of farm animals, equipment and the surrounding landscape. Wyeth’s depictions of farm work and life combine his wit, artistry and sense of wonder. His earliest farm works were painted as a teenager on trips to the Olson farm in Maine, made famous by his father Andrew. In Chadds Ford during the same years, he made countless visits to a nearby farm. Since the late 1960s, his own farm on the Brandywine, Point Lookout, has been the primary site of inspiration for his subjects. Farm Work by Jamie Wyeth is supported by The Davenport Family Foundation Fund for Exhibitions. The accompanying catalogue is made possible by a generous grant from The Davenport Family Foundation.

Barry Moser (b. 1940), Self Portrait with Burin (2nd State) (ca. 1987), wood engraving on paper, 10 ¼ x 8 ¼ inches, collection of the Brandywine River Museum, Gift of Justin Schiller, 1989.

Barry Moser: Bookwright
March 26 through May 22, 2011

This exhibition features the work of Barry Moser, the illustrator and bookwright whose limited editions and trade books transcend the ordinary, propelling each volume from a diversion into a fine work of art in its own right. Moser has illustrated and/or designed more than 300 books, and has won numerous awards, including the National Book Award for design and illustration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This exhibition will feature a selection of Moser's wood engravings, watercolors and beautiful limited edition books produced by his own Pennyroyal Press.


Seeing Red:Southeastern Pennsylvania Earthenware from Winterthur

January 22 through March 20, 2011

During the 18th and 19th centuries, red earthenware was omnipresent in the homes of southeastern Pennsylvania residents. It was supplied by both Pennsylvania German potters and regional craftsmen from other backgrounds. Although luxury items like whistles and inkstands were available, most consumers purchased more utilitarian forms such as dishes, cooking and dairy pans, jugs, roof tiles, and flowerpots. Depending on the owner's pocketbook and preferences, these objects-whether decorated or not-were acquired for kitchens, dining rooms, parlors, and gardens. Selected from Winterthur's important collection of American earthenware, the items featured in this display appeal to the eye and also help tell stories about their creators and original users.

N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), War (1914),

oil on canvas, illustration for War,

by John Luther Long, published by

Bobbs-Merrill Company, private collection


Romance in Conflict:

N.C. Wyeth's Civil War Paintings

January 22 through March 20, 2011

Throughout his career, N.C. Wyeth was commissioned to paint Civil War subjects as illustrations, murals and even calendar pictures. Despite their different uses, these images presented the war-battles, soldiers and civilians-in a romantic, heroic manner which reflected a national desire to focus on duty, loyalty and bravery. The exhibition examines how Wyeth prepared for these commissions and how, sometimes creating a picture at odds with its text, he portrayed the war as a courageous struggle and the combatants as noble warriors. Also on view will be Illustrations of the Civil War, featuring many fine examples from the museum's collections, including works by Alonzo Chappel, Harry Fenn, Winslow Homer and Howard Pyle.

Royal Lacey Scoville (ca. 1871-

1938), Untitled (ca. 1915), water-

color and ink on illustration board,

Collection of the Brandywine River Museum, gift of Jonathan Godfrey Wells, III,  and

Peter Scoville Wells, Sr., 2005.

The Imaginary Beasts

of Royal Lacey Scoville

November 26, 2010 through January 9, 2011

This special exhibition presents 38 whimsical watercolors that form an original narrative written and illustrated by Royal Lacey Scoville for his daughter Eleanore. Based on the style of Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, and Peter Newell, Scoville tells the story of the Lazy Tom Tompkins and the wizard, Tumblebug, who casts a spell on Tom. Tompkins, startled from an afternoon nap, stares in horror at the gigantic snake with a multi-colored head and gaping mouth. Tom, under the spell cast by the wizard, cannot escape the snake's coils and joins the 35 other imaginary creatures ensnared by the snake.

Robert Jackson, Target the Artist,

2009, oil on linen, Collection of the

Brandywinr River Museum

Reality Check:
Contemporary American Trompe l'Oeil

September 11 through November 18, 2010
Online Exhibition Catalogue

The Brandywine River Museum is known for its outstanding collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American trompe l'oeil paintings.  A French term meaning "fool the eye," trompe l'oeil is part of a long tradition of illusionism that dates to antiquity.  In this exhibition, the Museum presents the work of 22 contemporary trompe l'oeil artists and examines how the tradition has evolved in the present day.  

Participating artists include Eric Conklin, Otto Duecker, Gary Erbe, Scott Fraser, Christopher Gallego, Mikel Glass, Woody Gwyn, Robert C. Jackson, Sarah Lamb, Alan Magee, Daniel Massad, Steve Mills, Janet Monafo, Greg Mort, Charles Pfahl, Ron Rizk, Nelson Shanks, Daniel Sprick, Debra Teare, Micheal Theise, Greg West, Will Wilson and John Yerger. 

This exhibition is supported by the museum’s Davenport Family Foundation Fund for Exhibitions.


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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