Portable Fire: A History of Match Safes

September 13, 2014 - March 15, 2015

In the mid-19th century, the small utilitarian cases made to hold the modern striking match evolved into an array of imaginative designs, inventive techniques, and seemingly endless subjects in miniature. Over 300 match safes—including 60 rare examples, and a broad selection mass-produced by the rapidly-developing technologies of the late 19th century—will be on view in this community-curated exhibition. The guest curators are Neil Shapiro, author of  Gorham Match Safes, Exceptional Match Safes and George Sparacio, founding President of the International Match Safe Association.

To view large images and caption information, click below.


Organized by the Delaware Art Museum.


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.