Chronology of the Delaware Art Museum – 1960-1979

1912-1959 | 1960-1979 | 1980-2012

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 The Board of Trustees votes to change the name of the Delaware Art Center to the Delaware Art Museum on June 9, 1970. The first Downtown Gallery is established this year 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 The 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 the lobby of First Federal Savings and Loan Association at Branmar Plaza. The Museum reopens to the public on June 10, 1971 with the exhibition American Painting Since World War II.

Renovation of the Museum galleries, 1971

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

1978 The Delaware Art Museum receives funding from the NEH and NEA in support of a series of exhibitions and programs based on the theme 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 The 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 | 1980-2012

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