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BRANDYWINE RIVER MUSEUM AND DELAWARE ART MUSEUM
JOINTLY ACQUIRE PAINTING BY HOWARD PYLE
Wilmington, DE (November 10, 2006) — The Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Museum are pleased to announce the joint purchase of a major painting by Howard Pyle (1853-1911) titled Richard de Bury Tutoring Young Edward III, an oil on canvas completed in 1903. By combining resources, the museums were able to acquire this highly valued illustration.
Richard de Bury Tutoring Young Edward III is currently on display at the Delaware Art Museum in Gallery 5, and will be on view at the Brandywine River Museum as part of the exhibition Howard Pyle and the American Renaissance from March 17 through May 20, 2007.
Danielle Rice, executive director of the Delaware Art Museum, and James H. Duff, executive director of the Brandywine River Museum, made a joint statement: “As America’s foremost illustrator, Howard Pyle nurtured an outstanding tradition of painting in the Brandywine Valley. Pyle’s work — as well as his students’ — is at the heart of both museums’ collections. Jointly purchasing this painting enhances our ability to share Pyle’s work with the public.”
Museums rarely make joint purchases, but the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Museum each had specific reasons to own Richard de Bury Tutoring Young Edward III. The Delaware Art Museum’s important collections of work by Wilmington native Howard Pyle and the British Pre-Raphaelites are connected through their mutual interest in retelling historical and medieval stories. This painting serves to strengthen that connection, as Pyle tells the story of a medieval king’s education and his love of books. The Brandywine River Museum has a growing collection of work by Pyle and his many students. This acquisition will add fascinating historical dimensions to the collection and to the museum’s exhibitions and publications which often demonstrate Pyle’s influence on his student, N.C. Wyeth, and on subsequent generations of the Wyeth family, as well as many other artists.
The painting depicts Edward III (1312-1377), the future king of England and one of the most successful monarchs of his time, reading a bible while his tutor, Richard de Bury (1287-1345), stands in the background and watches. Besides being a Benedictine monk, de Bury was a scholar, diplomat, bishop of Durham, and a noted bibliophile. As a patron of learning, he was one of the first English book collectors and is said to have inspired Edward, then the Prince of Wales, with his own love of books.
In 1903, the Bibliophile Society of Boston commissioned Howard Pyle to illustrate The Bibliomaniac; or, Book-Madness by Thomas Frognall Dibden. Richard de Bury Tutoring Young Edward III is one of five paintings Pyle produced for the book. The works were etched by W.H.W. Bicknell and attracted so much admiration that it was decided to issue them in a portfolio. William K. Bixby, a Saint Louis art collector, purchased the five source paintings directly from Pyle in 1903. After Bixby’s death in 1931, the paintings passed into various hands.
Located on U.S. Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, the Brandywine River Museum is open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Christmas Day. Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for seniors ages 65 and over, students with I.D., and children; and free for children under six and Brandywine Conservancy members. For more information, call 610-388-2700 or visit the museum’s website at www.brandywinemuseum.org.
The Delaware Art Museum, located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806, is open Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. The Museum is free on Sunday and closed on Monday. Regular admission is adults (18–59) $10, seniors (60+) $8, college students $5, and youth (7–17) $3, with children six and under entering for free. The Delaware Art Museum also offers educational programs for students, teachers, and groups. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or visit the website at http://www.delart.org.
For digital photography of the painting, please call Halsey Spruance of the Brandywine River Museum at 610-388-8336 or send an email to email@example.com.