Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970–1990

June 27, 2015 - September 27, 2015

During the 1970s and 1980s, Wilmingtonians witnessed a flourishing artistic community and the establishment of many of the cultural pillars that continue to support the visual and performing arts within the city today. Organizations such as the Delaware Contemporary, the Delaware Humanities Forum, and the Delaware Theatre Company were founded during this period, as well as commercial galleries and city-supported arts initiatives. This landmark exhibition plots the development of artistic trends within the Wilmington community and their relation to national creative trends during these two decades, showcasing craft and design, drawing, painting, performance art, photography, and sculpture.

A major component of the exhibition was the oral history project funded in part by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum. Between August 2010 and January 2014 interviews were conducted with 63 individuals—artists, musicians, arts advocates, and former politicians—whose activities impacted the contemporary art scene in Wilmington in the 1970s and 1980s. Click here for transcriptions of these interviews.

To view large images and caption information, click below.

E Jean Lanyon Dreamstreets 51 cover 2015_crop

Dreamstreets #51 — Now Available!

Dreamstreets was a literary and arts magazine that provided an outlet for Wilmington’s writers, poets, and visual artists to display their work. This free publication, run by Steven Leech, ran from 1976 through 2001. In conjunction with the summer 2015 exhibition Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990, the Museum partnered with Mr. Leech and a number of local writers and artists to release the 51st issue of this groundbreaking publication. Click on the below link to download a PDF of Dreamstreets #51 or pick up a free copy at the Museum.

Download Dreamstreets #51 


Dream Streets Catalogue on sale now!

Paperback, 100 Pages

A comprehensive catalogue for the exhibition brings together key artists, historians, and writers—Joyce Brabner, Dr. James E. Newton, and Rick Rothrock, among others—to document Wilmington’s creative community during the 1970s and 1980s.

Buy Catalogue 

Press Materials

Click here to view Press Release.


Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990 is made possible by DuPont and the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund. This exhibition was partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support is provided by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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