Dr. Heather Campbell Coyle, the Delaware Art Museum’s Curator of American Art since 2009, has been promoted to Chief Curator of the Museum, effective January 1, 2017. Dr. Coyle is an expert on Ashcan School artist John Sloan and The Eight, an influential group of 20th-century American painters. Thanks to the generosity of Helen Farr Sloan (1911-2005), the artist’s second wife and devoted widow, the Delaware Art Museum is home to the largest collection of art by Sloan, as well as the John Sloan Manuscript Collection, a treasure trove of archival materials.

Dr. Coyle will succeed Dr. Margaretta Frederick, who has served as Chief Curator since 2010. Dr. Frederick, the Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Collection, curates the Museum’s world-renowned Pre-Raphaelite collection. Beginning in January of 2017, Dr. Frederick will return her full attention to her collection and an ambitious series of exhibitions related to the Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite holdings.

“Dr. Coyle is a remarkable curator and an ideal fit for Chief Curator at the Museum,” says Dr. Frederick. “She has the rare ability to both plan and execute ambitious exhibitions that further the scholarship in her field while also having an intuitive sense of the Museum’s unique community and audience needs. She is the perfect person to help lead the Museum through its next phase.”

In her new role, Dr. Coyle will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the nine-person Curatorial Department, as well as working with Executive Director and CEO Sam Sweet to develop a long-range vision for the Museum. She will also lead the Museum through a complex project to digitize and make available online the wealth of archival material in the John Sloan Manuscript Collection. Dr. Coyle is currently at work on a Society of Independent Artists exhibition and the first major retrospective of John Sloan’s work since 1988. An American Journey: The Art of John Sloan is scheduled to open at the Museum in October 2017.

“Dr. Coyle is a dynamic curator whose wide range of talents have helped the Delaware Art Museum introduce, and re-introduce, important artists to local, national, and even international audiences,” says Sweet. “I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Coyle and her team to figure out how we can elevate the Museum’s profile through our incredible collections, exhibitions, and scholarly research.”

Dr. Coyle’s research is focused on three overlapping areas: American painting and illustration (1875-1945), the history of photography, and the intersection of humor and art. She received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Delaware, where she has taught History of Photography and co-taught a seminar entitled Comic Modern. Dr. Coyle has been an instructor at the Barnes Foundation and has served as the editor and lead author of Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered and Fashion, Circus, Spectacle: Photographs by Scott Heiser and co-editor and co-author of John Sloan’s New York. She has curated 28 exhibitions (20 of which were original shows) during her tenure at the Delaware Art Museum, including shows exploring the work of artists such as Leonard Baskin, Harold Edgerton, Gertrude Käsebier, Helen Farr Sloan, Bruce Katsiff, Scott Heiser, Mary Page Evans, Leonard Baskin, Alida Fish, and The Eight.

“I am incredibly excited to move into this new position at the Museum, and I look forward to reaching new audiences through engaging exhibitions, programs, and digital initiatives inspired by the Museum’s unique collections,” says Dr. Coyle.

About the Delaware Art Museum

Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum is best known for its large collection of works by Wilmington native Howard Pyle and fellow American illustrators, a major collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art, urban landscapes by John Sloan and his circle, and a survey of American art from early 19th century through the present. Visitors can also enjoy the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden and a number of special exhibitions throughout the year.

The Delaware Art Museum is at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806. Open Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Friday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday: Closed. Admission fees are charged as follows: Adults (19-59) $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Students (with valid ID) $6, Youth (7-18) $6, and Children (6 and under) free. Admission fees are waived Thursdays 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. thanks to support from generous individuals. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714 (toll free), or visit

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