Chronology of the Delaware Art Museum – 1960 – 1979


1912-1959 | 1960-1979 | 1980-2009

1960 HelenFarrloan_1960 Helen Farr Sloan visits Wilmington for the first time to help organize the exhibition The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Exhibition of Independent Artists in 1910. Impressed with the collection, the staff, and the Museum’s dedication to collecting and exhibiting American art, Mrs. Sloan offers to place the John Sloan Collection on deposit at the Art Center with the intention of giving it over a period of years to the Fine Arts Society.Helen Farr Sloan assisting with the installation of The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Exhibition of Independent Artists in 1910, January 1960

1964 Mr. and Mrs. William Phelps donate their collection of work by Andrew Wyeth.Andrew Newell Wyeth
Tenant Farmer, 1961
Tempera on Masonite (TM)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Phelps, 1964
DAM #1964-10

1970 “Delaware Art Center” re-named “Delaware Art Museum.”The first Downtown Gallery is established as a center-city showcase for local and regional artists as well as for the Museum’s collections and special displays of a variety of loaned collections. Arrangements are made with the Bank of Delaware for the use of the center room on the main banking floor of the Bank’s 9th and Market Street Branch.

1971 Museum closes for nearly a year while air conditioning and a humidity control system are installed, most of the galleries are carpeted, walls recovered, and newly lighted. Exhibitions sponsored by the Museum and using its collections are held in the Downtown Gallery, the Goodstay Center (University of Delaware), and starting in April 1971 the lobby of First Federal Savings and Loan Association at Branmar Plaza.Museum reopens to the public on June 10, 1971 with the exhibition American Painting Since World War II.Renovation of the Museum galleries, 1971Delaware Art Center building during the final stages of construction, 1938

19741975 The Museum Store opens to the public in October 1974 and the Sales & Rental Gallery opens in March 1975.

Howard Pyle
The Mermaid, 1910
Oil on canvas
Gift of the children of Howard Pyle in memory of their mother, Anne Poole Pyle, 1940
DAM #3324

1976 A significant collection of English jewelry is promised by Mrs. Dora Jane Janson to augment the Bancroft collection. Artists include Archibald Knox, Charles Robert Ashbee, the Studio of Arthur and Rex Silver, and Ernestine Evans Mills.Phoebe Anna Traquair
The Song, 1904
Polychrome enamel and silver foil on copper set in gold
Gift of Mrs. H. W. Janson, 1976
DAM #1976-38

19771978 Docen tour-childrenDocent tour-adult The Museum Council (formerly the Women’s Committee) introduces the Docent program, designed for volunteers interested in interpreting the Museum collections and exhibitions to school children and the general public.The ArtReach program, funded by the City and County Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), enables the Museum to plan and carry out programs of visual education in areas not normally reached by the Museum.Docent tours

19781980 Formal beginning of the Museum’s three-year designation as a National Endowment for the Humanities Learning Museum. A $350,000 grant from the NEH sets forth a series of coordinated exhibits, lectures and public programs based on the common unifying theme of “Popular Culture Through Visual Literature: 1890-1940.”Catalog cover for The American Magazine: 1890-1940, exhibition held in the Museum late 1979 and funded by the NEH Learning Museum

1979 Kingswood Mural Three-year U.S. Office of Education Funds for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education grant enables the Museum to set up operations in Wilmington community centers. Referred to as the Community Arts program, the goal is to establish self-supporting and self-sustaining art projects in the centers.Kingswood Wall Mural. “Unity, Brotherhood, and Education” is the theme of this mural at Kingswood Community Center in Northeast Wilmington, Delaware. The mural was designed and painted by the Kingswood Community neighborhood residents and artist Charles Burwell from the Community Arts Program of the Delaware Art Museum. Photographers Jon McDowell and Carson Zullinger.

1912-1959 | 1960-1979 | 1980-2009


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