Showing posts with label Howard Pyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Howard Pyle. Show all posts

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Art Museum Announces Major Reinstallation of Permanent Collection

The content of this post comes from a Delaware Art Museum press release...

The Delaware Art Museum is excited to announce the reinstallation and reinterpretation of eight main-floor galleries housing its permanent collection. This project encompasses the Museum’s spaces dedicated to American art and illustration, Howard Pyle, John Sloan, and the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art. Between April and November 2020, over 8,000 square feet of exhibition space will be renovated and rehung. Working with community and professional input, gallery layout and interpretation have been completely reimagined to connect better with today’s visitors and conserve the collections for future generations.

According to Chief Curator and Curator of American Art Heather Campbell Coyle, “This isn’t just fresh paint! We’ve been working behind the scenes for over two years. There are new works to show and new stories to tell. Entire collections are being relocated to improve visitor experience.”

This will be the first comprehensive rehanging since the Museum opened its renovated building in 2005. Since then, thanks to significant study and audience feedback, the collections have grown to include key pieces by women and artists of color that introduce new narratives and tell a more inclusive story of the visual arts. 

These new works, including a bust of Frederick Douglass by Isaac Scott Hathaway, and Botticelli’s Studio, a painting by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale on loan to the Museum, will join masterpieces by Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Raphaelle Peale, Frederic E. Church, George Inness, John Sloan, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Violet Oakley, and Frank E. Schoonover. This reinstallation will also bring focus to the role of local artists and collectors in the narrative of national art.

As part of the Museum’s strategic vision for community engagement, the Museum embarked on this project with an inclusive and visitor-centered approach. Community collaborators who participated in focus groups and left responses in our galleries have been integral to helping design a better Delaware Art Museum.

“Our local community’s input at every step was critical to this project,” says Amelia Wiggins, Assistant Director of Learning and Engagement, who worked closely with curators on gallery reinterpretation strategies. “We are grateful to those who helped guide us in early focus groups, as well as to visitors who responded to the prototyping of new ideas in our galleries. Direct feedback from our audiences helped us create bridges between the collection and the contemporary experiences of Delawareans. We look forward to learning what fresh connections our visitors make with the art as galleries reopen later this year.”

The Museum will remain open during these changes, with galleries closing and reopening on a rolling basis. Starting in early April and running through mid-July, a limited selection of works by Howard Pyle and his students will be on view; these galleries will be closed entirely from July through late November. Galleries dedicated to American art before 1900 will be closed from April 20 through the end of June. The Pre-Raphaelite Collection will be off view from July 6 through mid-August. Please check for details and updates.

The Museum’s reinstallation is fully funded by generous foundations including an anonymous donor, the Starrett Foundation, the Richard C. Von Hess Foundation, and the Sansom Foundation. To transform the galleries, the Museum is working with exhibition designer Keith Ragone Studio and local and regional fabricators.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Modern Illustration Comes Alive at Delaware Art Museum

Vertical Hold, 2009        
Sterling Hundley (born 1976)

If Howard Pyle could come back, a century after his passing, and experience the work of the great modern illustrators, would he recognize it as illustration? How has illustration evolved, and is his legacy reflected in modern illustration? These are some of the questions posed by State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle, guest curated for the Delaware Art Museum by David Apatoff (perhaps best known in the art world for his contemporary illustration blog, Illustration Art). It's easy to see why Apatoff was the curator for the job -- his authority on the subject seems to come from pure passion. 

The eight artists featured have careers that span from the 1950s -- just about the time that photography took over as the dominant medium of choice for magazine covers and advertisements -- through today. The work of Bernie Fuchs, Milton Glaser, Peter de Séve, Sterling Hundley, John Cuneo, Ralph Eggleston, Phil Hale, and Mort Drucker is familiar, to varying degrees, to anyone exposed to modern American culture, from highbrow art connoisseurs to preschoolers.

The journey starts with Fuchs, the earliest illustrator in the show, and the only one to have passed on, in 2009. Fuchs, who grew up in a poor coal mining town in Illinois, came to exemplify 1960s illustration. He had the ability to create illustrations with photo-realistic detail, but, just as things shook up in American society, his work evolved into a more impressionistic, experimental style, while still retaining much of the technique that Pyle would recognize. 

Suicide, 1984, for “A Twilight's Last Gleaming” by Frank Deford, in 
Sports Illustrated, November 19, 1984           
Bernard Fuchs (1932 2009)

Glaser, whose work also shaped the commercial art world in the 1960s, took a different tack; he was not a photo-realistic illustrator, so he focused on concept in his work. Shapes layer to create familiar images, some of the first of what we recognize today as graphic design. Before computers, Glaser's techniques blazed the way.

Hermann Hesse & Family, 1974, for Hermann Hesse 1975
Calendar (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc.)     
Milton Glaser (born 1929)

The work of de Séve will be recognized by everyone; in addition to being a prolific commercial  illustrator with a distinctive cartoony style, he designed characters for the digitally animated feature film Ice Age. Original sketches are on display, as well as a video monitor that shows how far illustration, with the help of a large team of digital technicians and creators, has truly come.

Scrat, Character study for Ice Age (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2009)
Peter de Séve (born 1958)

Philip Larkin and Bob
Dylan go antiquing
, 2011        
John Cuneo (born 1957)

Hundley melds traditional illustration style with a "conceptual twist," with images that skew perspective and even use illusion to create two images at once, such as his William Henry Harrison, that captures the short-lived American president speaking at a lectern and lying in a coffin simultaneously.

Cuneo utilizes one of the oldest mediums, pen and ink, to create modern illustrations with fearless subject matter. His rich, lively style will be familiar to readers of The New Yorker and Esquire, among others.

Eggleston was selected as one of the most important artists working for Disney's PIXAR Studios, known for films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. Pieces include character drawings done in pastels, offering a peek at well-loved PIXAR moments before they went high-tech.
School, Sequence Pastel for Finding Nemo (Pixar Animation Studios, 2003) 
Ralph Eggleston (born 1965)

Hale creates huge, dynamic paintings with a fearsome edge -- some bring to mind some of Pyle's darker work such as The Flying Dutchman, but the figures are not only off-center but at times painted with parts of the head and body cut off by the edge of the canvas. His work has been used as the cover artwork of novels by by Joseph Conrad and Stephen King.

Nostromo, 2007 Cover for Nostromo,
by Joseph Conrad (Penguin Classics, 2007)     

Phil Hale (born 1963)

Finally, Mort Drucker's illustration is known and loved by anyone who has ever spent their allowance money on the new MAD magazine. His distinctive caricatures and highly detailed comic panels have become respected at the level of other fine art -- and original panels for the pages of MAD are on display.

Put*on, for MAD, January 1971          
Mort Drucker (born 1929)

It's an eclectic mix, and one that will enthrall art lovers and illustration aficionados of all ages. State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle will be on view from February 9 to June 13 2013.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Art IS everywhere in Sussex and Kent County

Abbot Handerson Thayer's The old lion in front of
 the Georgetown Public Library
Last weekend we decided to go to a restaurant on the C& D Canal and enjoy dining while the sun set on a fantastic view of the railroad bridge and a beautifully maintained marina. When we arrived at Aqua Sol, we saw an full-size reproduction of Howard Pyle’s Flying Dutchman which he had created for Collier’s Weekly in 1900. What fun to find one of the centennial works reproduced out in the woods near Lums Pond!!! We asked our waitress about the painting and she brought us a brochure from the Delaware Art Museum with a map and addresses of all fifteen works placed in various outdoor locations throughout the state. We vowed to see them all.

This past Saturday we headed for the beach to catch Edward Hopper’s Summertime which the Lewes Historical Society had placed at the entrance to the charming Lewes Farmers’ Market which is on Shipcarpenter Square – surrounded by some very old historic buildings. Then we headed to see friends near Angola and took off in the late afternoon for Rehoboth to see Howard Pyle’s Buccaneer in front of the Rehoboth Library. A quick coffee and we headed for the opulent Georgetown Public Library (built by the millionaire who owns the development we had just visited in Long Neck) where we saw Abbott Handerson Thayer’s The old lion. Thayer was a naturalist who wrote about the protective coloration of animals. His conclusions are now referred to as Thayer’s law and he is considered one of the theorists behind camouflage dress.

Rain began to fall copiously as we made our way to Milford’s Mispillion Art League to see our third Howard Pyle, The Mermaid, which was posted on the white wall of the Art League, with the darkening sky and stormy raindrops falling on it as we stopped to mug in front of it for a cell phone group picture.
Howard Pyle's Mermaid in Milford

After a snack in Milford – we hit the road again to start the Kent County tour. Absalom Jones by Raphaelle Peale, was standing alone behind a few orange construction barrels in the dark and rain. My friend positioned her car so that we could have light on the painting and we celebrated our fifth pop-up of the day before moving on to Smyrna. By the time we reached the parking lot of the Smyrna Opera House, the rain was pouring down and we drove as close as we could to Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Veronica Veronese, snapping shots on the cell phone.

The chase of art was a delightful way of touring and appreciating our neatly compact state and we spent a long time wondering how the Delaware Art Museum planned this fantastic campaign – how they chose the works and the placements. I shall report again as we finish our pop-up tour of New Castle County.


Friday, November 11, 2011

A Fresh Look at Howard Pyle at DAM

The Buccaneer Was a
Picturesque Fellow, 1905
Though it may be hard to believe for those of us who've grown up visiting the Delaware Art Museum, Howard Pyle isn't a Rembrandt-level superstar outside of the Delaware Valley. Pyle may no longer be a household name to the rest of the world, but his impact on modern culture extends far beyond the walls of 2301 Kentmere Parkway.

Take pirates, for example -- few images are as iconic in this century as the Pirates of the Carribean-style swashbucklers. The image we have of the pirates of legend doesn't come from actual-time paintings or photographs; real pirates simply weren't captured that way. It was Pyle who created the image (which directly influenced the style of Disney's Captain Jack Sparrow), using research from old books mixed with his own vision based on the text he was illustrating.

This method of taking existing material and turning it into something decidedly his own is at the heart of Howard Pyle: American Masters Rediscovered, the new special exhibition celebrating both the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Delaware Art Museum and the centenary of Pyle's death.

Away they rode with clashing hoofs
and ringing armor, 1888
If you've spent a lot of time at the Art Museum, you're probably intimately familiar with the paintings in the Pyle collection (I have a "Flying Dutchman" magnet on my refrigerator -- doesn't everyone?). If you think you've seen it all, you may be right -- but you haven't seen it like this. Rediscovered shows Pyle's work in a new way, interspersed with pieces by his contemporaries such as Thomas Eakins, Jean-Leon Gérôme and Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, from whom he took inspiration to create his varying illustrative styles that captured the Middle Ages, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, and historical America. The guest pieces are displayed on gold panels to to set them apart from Pyle's work. Don't skip the descriptions next each painting, especially if you think you know everything about the work -- you don't.

 Howard Pyle: American Masters Rediscovered runs from November 12 to March 4, 2012. Also be sure to tour the newly-redesigned illustration galleries -- with much of the Pyle collection relocated for the retrospective, rarely-seen pieces from the museum's collection are on display.