Exhibition Catalogue


Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered

This beautifully illustrated 192-page book, which accompanies the Museum’s exhibition of the same title, presents the most recent research on Howard Pyle. The book includes thematic essays by leading scholars in art history, history, and literature and presents a fresh perspective on Pyle’s familiar images by exploring his interaction with the art and culture of his time, effectively repositioning him within the broader spectrum of 19th-century art.

At a time when illustrators were national celebrities, Howard Pyle was one of the most successful. A prolific artist and author, Pyle wrote and illustrated for most of the nation’s major magazines, including Harper’s WeeklyCentury, and McClure’s. In any given month between 1880 and 1909, hundreds of thousands of Americans saw his published pictures, making Pyle a major contributor to the nation’s visual culture. His illustrations accompanied the writing of leading authors including Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Collaborating with significant historians, such as Woodrow Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge, he helped to fashion the nation’s impression of colonial and federal history. And in his own books, Pyle produced enduring versions of Robin Hood and the Arthurian legends and shaped the American vision of pirate life.

View the table of contents.Illustrator James Gurney analyzes Pyle’s working methods and compositional strategies, describing how these translate into effective illustrations. Alan Lupack and Barbara Tepa Lupack consider Pyle’s evocation of the Arthurian legends, and Anne M. Loechle explores the cultural currency of pirates at the turn of the century. Heather Campbell Coyle scrutinizes Pyle’s images of the American Revolution. Margaretta S. Frederick examines how the transatlantic trade in prints, publications and paintings brought French and English source material to Howard Pyle. Situating the artist in a broad cultural context, Eric J. Segal explicates the way contemporary ideas of manhood are articulated in Pyle’s writing, and Mary F. Holahan discusses the influence of Swedenborgianism on his life and work. Essays by David Lubin, Joyce K. Schiller, Virginia O’Hara, and Stephanie Haboush Plunkett explore Pyle’s influence on film and popular illustration.

Sorry, this catalog is no longer available for sale in the Museum Store, but is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

About the Essays

Preview the introduction.

Preview Curator Margaretta Fredrick’s catalogue essay.

Additional Howard Pyle Books

The Delaware Art Museum Store sells numerous books about Howard Pyle, his work, and his students. The following books are available for purchase online or in the Store. The Museum Store is open during regular Museum hours and there is no admission fee to shop.

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