Museum exhibition focuses on Elizabeth Osborne’s breakthrough decade


Delaware Art Museum exhibition focuses on Elizabeth Osborne’s breakthrough decade


Throughout her almost 60-year career, Philadelphia-based artist Elizabeth Osborne has been lauded for her exceptional use of color and superior ability to create glowing canvases. Elizabeth Osborne: The Sixties–on view at the Delaware Art Museum from October 8, 2016-January 8, 2017–features 12 oil and acrylic paintings with found objects produced between 1962 and 1966.

Elizabeth Osborne: The Sixties affords us the opportunity to showcase a vibrant decade from the artist’s career and to celebrate her immeasurable impact on the contemporary art of the Greater Philadelphia area and beyond,” says Margaret Winslow, Delaware Art Museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art. “The exhibition traces this critical moment in the artist’s career and presents the first survey of her haunting and dark paintings from the 1960s.”

Osborne, who was born in 1936, earned a certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1958 and a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959. By the early 1960s, Osborne sought to propel her practice forward and away from the Philadelphia tradition.

She was awarded a yearlong Fulbright fellowship to study painting in Paris. Living and working in the French capital from 1963 to 1964, Osborne experimented with signs, symbols, and objects from her busy urban environment. The artist embarked on a new approach to handling the figure and representing space and adopted a style similar to her proto-Pop Art contemporaries.

The Delaware Art Museum’s relationship with Elizabeth Osborne dates back to the 46th Annual Delaware Show, held in the fall of 1959. The exhibition featured two paintings by Osborne: Summer Evening and Girl with Orange. The latter garnered awards from the jurors; the former was purchased for the Museum’s permanent collection. Osborne participated in subsequent Annual Delaware Shows; was included in the Museum’s Downtown Gallery survey, 4 Philadelphia Painters (March 25-April 20, 1971); and served as a juror alongside then Allentown Art Museum director Richard Gregg in 1978.
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Exhibition Catalogue

The exhibition will be accompanied by a beautiful 60-page catalogue by the Museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art, Margaret Winslow, featuring an extensive interview with Elizabeth Osborne on her time in Paris, an essay on the work produced during this decade and its relation to the artist’s oeuvre and American art of the 1960s, brilliant reproductions of the 12 works included in the show, and a detailed account of Osborne’s exhibitions and publications from the decade. Support for this project was provided by Gene and Sueyun Locks. $21.56 for Members and $23.95 for Non-Members. To purchase the catalogue, visit the Museum Store or

Sponsors and Partners

This exhibition was organized by the Delaware Art Museum. Support, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on

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 special exhibitions throughout the year.

The Delaware Art Museum is at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806 and is 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: 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 after 4:00 p.m. and Sundays thanks to support from generous individuals and the Longwood Foundation. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714, or visit

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