Howard Pyle Speakers Bureau

In conjunction with Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered, the following presentations and performances are available to interested community groups and organizations.

Please contact presenters directly to inquire about availability and other costs associated with presentations.

HOWARD PYLE: “WITH MY OWN EYES”

Presented by Dr. Mary F. Holahan, Curator of Collections and Curator of Illustration, 
Delaware Art Museum

Howard Pyle was so immersed in his subject matter that when he painted the American Revolution, he could “smell the gunsmoke.” This illustrated presentation will address how Pyle intensely saw and felt the subject matter of his illustrations—swashbuckling pirates, ephemeral mermaids, and revolutionary soldiers. This allowed Pyle to create compelling scenes of adventure, romance, history, and legend. He strove to capture, as he said, “a vivid flash of real truth.”

Approximately one hour. Best enjoyed by adult audiences. Venue must provide laptop and projector for this presentation.

Available mainly to audiences in New Castle County.

Contact Information:
Courtney Waring, Director of Education, Delaware Art Museum
302.351.8509
cwaring@delart.org

HOWARD PYLE: THE ARTIST & HIS LEGACY

Presented by Courtney Waring, Director of Education, Delaware Art Museum

Designed for elementary students, this illustrated presentation discusses the impact of Howard Pyle’s art and teachings on the development of American Illustration.

Students will explore universal themes and historical events central to his illustrations, deciphering the stories of Pyle and his students by closely analyzing the visual clues offered in their works of art.

45-60 minute presentation. Best enjoyed by grades 2 – 5.

Contact Information:
Courtney Waring, Director of Education, Delaware Art Museum
302.351.8509
cwaring@delart.org

MEET HOWARD PYLE

Presented by Joe Plummer

Howard Pyle died in 1911, but comes to life again in a one-man tribute written and performed by Joe Plummer. In a studio master-class setting, Plummer suggests Pyle’s inner self, both at the easel and in a series of monologues, sharing with the audience his radical approach to imagining and creating works of art that signaled a new era in American illustration. Claimed by Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, Pyle was no stranger to Sussex County.  He used the shores of Cape Henlopen as the setting and inspiration for many of his pirate paintings, and often vacationed in Rehoboth with his family.

Familiar to Delaware theatre-goers for his impersonations of Dickens, Shakespeare, and Shaw, Plummer’s Howard Pyle is the actor’s first portrayal of a visual artist.

Approximately one hour.  Best enjoyed by ages 12 and older.

Available mainly to audiences in Sussex County.

Contact Information:
Joe Plummer
302.424.3330
herbertjplummer@gmail.com

INSPIRED TEACHER AND RECEPTIVE STUDENT:  HOWARD PYLE AND FRANK E. SCHOONOVER

Presented by Louise Schoonover Smith, author, speaker, and granddaughter of Frank E. Schoonover

Frank E. Schoonover was one of Pyle’s favorite students. He even had plans to visit Pyle at his villa with fellow student Stanley Arthurs before Pyle died unexpectedly in Italy in 1911. In this illustrated presentation, Louise Schoonover Smith shares stories of the relationship between Schoonover and Pyle as well as the long-lasting effect that Pyle’s tutelage had on her grandfather’s life and work.

45-minute presentation with 15-minute Q&A. Best enjoyed by adult audiences.

Available in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and New York City.

Contact Information:
Louise Schoonover Smith
908.665.9541
schoonoverfund@gmail.com

FROM THE SPANISH MAIN TO HOLLYWOOD: THE EVOLUTION OF PIRATE DRESS, REAL AND IMAGINED

Presented by David Rickman, Writer and Illustrator

Though the great age of piracy ended by 1725, the “Pirate” remains an important figure in popular culture today, easily recognized by his headscarf, earring, and sash. This iconic look was largely the invention of Howard Pyle, one of the most influential American illustrators of the late-19th century.

Before Howard Pyle, there were many ideas of how pirates dressed. Today, however, it is “Pyle’s pirate” that is remembered, an archetype that lives on through his students and imitators. It spread to stage, film, fancy dress, and even to our own daily wear. Today, it is almost impossible for most people to imagine pirates—from Captain Kidd to Captain Jack Sparrow—without  imagining an iconic Pyle pirate.

Approximately one hour. Best enjoyed by adult audiences.

Contact Information:
David Rickman
302.388.5605
davidwrickman@verizon.net