New Wyeth at The Brandywine
A small island off the coast of Maine, Monhegan has long lured artists with its dramatic ocean vistas, rugged landscapes, and inspiring scenes of men struggling against nature. The exhibition “Jamie Wyeth, Rockwell Kent and Monhegan” examines the fascination that Monhegan and its people held for both Kent (1882-1971) and Wyeth (b. 1946). Though the two artists never met, their paintings, when viewed together, depict a century’s worth of Monhegan life and landmarks from vantage points most other artists never saw. The exhibition will include some of Wyeth’s most recent paintings and works from his personal collection of Kent seascapes. If you go, you’ll also see the debut of a new painting by Wyeth. View the exhibit June 15-Nov. 17. 610-388-2700, brandywinemuseum.org
Don't forget about guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio and the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio. Explore the connection between art and life during an individual tour or package. Art of Andrew Wyeth Studio Tour, on Mondays and Tuesdays through Nov. 19, lets you immerse yourself in the art of Andrew Wyeth with a visit to the location where many of his finest works were painted. The program begins with a docent-led tour of the museum's renowned Wyeth Galleries, followed by a lunch in the museum restaurant overlooking the scenic Brandywine Creek. After lunch, board a shuttle bus for a short ride to the studio where, surrounded by the tools of the artist as he left them, a guide will discuss Wyeth's creative process. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, tour all three studios, fascinating spaces where three generations of Wyeths have painted. A docent-led tour of the Wyeth galleries provides an introduction to the family. (610) 388-2700, brandywinemuseum.org
A New Twist
Coming soon to the Delaware Art Museum, “French Twist: Masterworks of Photography from Atget to Man Ray” features 100 vintage prints from the golden age of French photography. The exhibition celebrates the variety and inventiveness of native and immigrant photographers working in France from 1910 till 1940, encompassing Eugène Atget’s lyrical views of Paris streets and gardens, Man Ray’s surrealist experiments, and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s pioneering photojournalism, as well as works by Ilse Bing, Brassaï, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, André Kertész, and Dora Maar. See it June 29-Sept. 25.
Also at Delaware Art Museum, don't miss your last chance to see “State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle” through June 1. The exhibition features more than 60 works from eight of the most important contemporary illustrators. “State of the Art” marks the celebration's end and reflects on Pyle's legacy. In the century since his death in 1911, American illustration has diversified into a wide range of art forms, including animated films, computer-generated images to graphic novels and conceptual art. “No single exhibition could possibly do justice to the noisy, rambunctious history of illustration over the past century,” says curator David Apatoff. “I've chosen instead to feature eight individuals whose diverse talents demonstrate that illustration is no longer the singular profession it was in Pyle's day. It pervades our culture, reaching out to us from billboards, television, store windows, and computer screens.” This is one cool exhibition. See it through June 1. 571-9590, delart.org
Unique Family Fun
The Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre brightens the summer with four sparkling plays for family. From the Land of Oz to Nottingham Forest, theater-goers can follow a trail lined with humor, adventure and breath-taking action. “The Wizard of Oz” opens the series on June 30. “Robin Hood” premieres July 2. “Jack and the Beanstalk” starts July 5. And “Millie and the Orange Dragon” launches July 15. The four shows will rotate until Aug. 27. Audiences in downtown Rehoboth can enjoy Sunday evening shows at the Clear Space Theater. On Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings, plays are performed in The Epworth Methodist Church in Rehoboth. Plays are also presented at the Lewes Presbyterian Church. All productions are staged in the unique two-actor format, with imaginative staging, lightning-quick costume changes and a lively sense of humor. Audiences will be amazed as the two performers bring the familiar stories of Dorothy and Toto, Jack and the Giant, and Robin and his Merry Men to life. Millie and the Orange Dragon is an enchanting and charming new show, featuring a serving girl who befriends a very misunderstood lizard. Plan your summer now. rehobothchildrenstheatre.com
During its early history, Boston attracted many of the finest woodworking craftsmen in America. The prominent seaport depended on artisans to build ships, homes, and furniture. Today, all the vessels are gone, and most of the Colonial architecture has been replaced. The furniture, however, has survived in quantity and over the past century has been passionately pursued by collectors. In the 1920s, Henry Francis du Pont began a journey in collecting that rewarded him with many treasures, including a magnificent array of Boston furniture. Today Winterthur has more than 300 Boston pieces, ranging in date from the 1650s to the 1830s. Enjoy 50 of the most outstanding pieces in Boston Furniture at Winterthur. It’s on view in the “In Wood” gallery through Oct. 6. And don't forget about “Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience.” More than 100 rare objects illustrate Americans’ changing interaction with maps as they evolved from an elite status symbol into a crucial tool for day-to-day life. “Common Destinations” reveals the compelling story of how America’s identity was inextricably linked with maps, whether traditional maps on paper or map images on objects, ranging from playing cards to needlework. You can see it now. 888-4600, winterthur.org
Who Are You?
If you were born, married, or attended public school in Delaware, eventually the Delaware Public Archives will have a record of you. On June 1, join a unique behind-the-scenes tour of the remarkable facility. Guide Tom Summers will show you how the archives preserves and protects the records that are important to every Delawarean. “Many people who have toured the archives are surprised by the amount of documents and photographs that are stored at the facility,” says archives director Stephen M. Marz. “Because the Delaware Public Archives serves as the official government repository for state, county and local government records, the archives is well known as a valuable resource for researchers, genealogists and historians.” Part of the tour will include a viewing of the new exhibit featuring the George and Irene Caley Postcard Collection. For more, call 744-5047 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Magical Evening
Beebe Medical Foundation’s 24th annual Best of the Beach Art Auction, Dinner & Dance happens June 8 under a tent on the grounds of Beebe Medical Center’s Beebe Health Campus on Del. 24 in Rehoboth Beach. One of the most anticipated events of the summer, The Best of the Beach enhances support for both Beebe Medical Center and the Rehoboth Art League. This year’s featured artist is Denise Dumont, a realist painter drawn to the coastal landscapes and cityscapes of the Atlantic region. She exhibits regularly and is represented by fine art galleries in the Mid-Atlantic. If you’ve never been, it’s worth checking out. Dinner, dancing and art, art, art. 644-2900, beebeefoundation.org
Art of Healing
Now at The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, see the fiber art installation exhibition of New Jersey artist Erin Endicott, “Healing Sutras,” through Aug. 4. Endicott uses deconstructed vintage children's clothing embellished with bright red embroidery and stained with walnut ink to represent personal histories and healing processes. Representation (the literal garment) and abstraction (the stained and embroidered forms) are integrated in each piece. “‘To stitch; a thread or line that holds things together. This is the literal translation of the ancient Sanskrit word ‘sutra,'” Endicott says. “’The Healing Sutras’ grew out of years of work examining psychological wounds—mainly my own— their origins and how they insinuate themselves into our lives.” Despite the self-referential subjects and forms, there is no way to ignore other more outward meanings, says curator J. Susan Isaacs. See it now.
Don't forget “imPERFECT CITY” at the DCCA. Curated by non-artists, the show represents their ideal city. Some content changes daily to reflect the life of a real city. The culmination of the exhibition will be on June 8 during the 2013 Gretchen Hupfel Symposium, when the project will be discussed along with other Utopian topics in conjunction with University of Delaware's “Earth Perfect? Nature, Utopia and the Garden symposium.” Also at the DCCA, “An Implied Narrative” is a group show of contemporary figure drawings that touch on themes of cultural and personal narratives such as celebrity, gender, political affiliation, and anonymity. The compositions are sparse, with few or no contextual clues to the type of space the figures inhabit. By removing extraneous elements, focus is directed toward the signifiers of facial expression, body language and dress to decipher what is presented. According to curator J. Gordon, Sean Lyman and Mark Stockton take two different approaches to the themes of identity and cultural narrative. Artist Mark Stockton presents the idea of the celebrity, a public identity constructed by the media, and consumers' expectations. Lyman addresses his subjects' anonymity. Bridging the gap between anonymity and celebrity are Jason Maas' drawings inspired by the media's depiction of social unrest. Using journalistic images as a starting point, Maas carefully edits his drawings to explore how clothing and costume function "to establish our sense of order ... and designate positions of authority.” Seeing it will force you to ask, who are these people? For that matter, who are we? See it through June 16. 656-6466, thedcca.org
Also at DCCA, “Taxonomy of Trash" finds Tim Eads, artist-in-residence at Revolution Recovery, a Philadelphia recycling company, uniting a team of professionals in what “is at once a hybrid form of art, connoisseurship, scientific research, audio-visual documentation, readymade sculpture, and performance that underscores much of today’s collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to artistic practice,” according to curator Maiza Hixon. As she explains, Eads invited a sound engineer, videographer, photographer, and biologist to help him analyze the aesthetic potential of trash. From Revolution Recovery’s inventory, the team selected objects of visual interest, recorded the sounds the objects made when activated as ersatz instruments, and photographed and categorized them in a phylogenetic tree chart. At the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, all of these inventive examinations and permutations of art and trash are on display. In addition to the sensory connection to trash that the visitor experiences in the gallery, Eads supplements "Taxonomy" with a kinetic sculpture called the “Mobile Trash Lab.” This photography studio/garbage bike on wheels travels to litter-strewn locations and enables the driver or citizens off the street to select ubiquitous city trash, then have it “taxonomized” on the spot, free of charge. Displayed alongside audio-visual recordings of garbage picked from this geographic region and exhibited in proximity to a chart categorizing these biodegradable and non-biodegradable items, the DCCA visitor is invited to view both an objective and ethical analysis of what we throw away. See it through July 13. Also at the DCCA, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by well-known artist Philemona Williamson investigate the complexity of lives of adolescents of all races and genders, delving into the complexities of adolescent life. See it through July 14. 656-6466, thedcca.org
Now in Newark
The Newark Arts Alliance is all about local artists, and it has a great season of their work to show. On view now, see “Flowers” through June 1, an all-media, juried show of works that celebrate the flower, followed by Nate Metz's solo show “Summer Streets” June 4-29, a show of photographs of interesting objects found on the streets in summer. There's more throughout the year, so stay tuned. 266-7266, newarkartsalliance.org
Much Better Living Through Science
Hagley Museum and Library is displaying a portion of its fashion collection for the first time in its newest exhibit, “Fashion Meets Science: Introducing Nylon.” This exhibit shows how nylon revolutionized the fashion industry and influenced how people have dressed since its launch in 1938 by the DuPont Co. “Fashion Meets Science: Introducing Nylon” celebrates the 75th anniversary of nylon’s introduction to market. On Oct. 27, 1938, the brand new material was announced to the public, then quickly replaced silk in the ladies hosiery industry. Nylon was so popular that its early sales created near riots. The highlight of the exhibit is the early development of nylon and its impact on the fashion industry, but it includes other uses for the discovery such as parachutes, toothbrushes and carpet. “Fashion Meets Science: Introducing Nylon” highlights “firsts” of this discovery from pure science. Visitors will be able to view the first polyamide fiber sample (basis of nylon) and first souvenir sample of nylon thread, first all-nylon woven fabric, one of the first pairs of stockings manufactured at the Experimental Station, and the first pair of seamless stockings. The first wedding dress made of nylon (1942), first dress made of 100 percent spun nylon (1949), and first nylon football pants will also be on display. in addition to other nylon “firsts.” Nylon and other related synthetic fibers made clothing that was durable, washable, stretchable, stain-resistant, and affordable. Visitors can see the first nylon overlay lace dress (1940) and a prototype black nylon nightgown from Vanity Fair (1947). Clothing made from Qiana, a silky nylon fiber that debuted in the late 1960s and influenced fashion of the disco era, will also be displayed. Featured Qiana items include a Bill Blass Qiana Boudoir Robe (1968-1969), William Travilla Qiana evening gown (1968-1969), Oscar de la Renta Qiana wrap dress (1968-1969), and a Charles Kleibacker Qiana cocktail dress. Whether a science geek or a fashion fan, you’ll love this exhibit. It runs through March 31. 658-2400, hagley.lib.de.us
Don't forget about “The Projectionist,” on view through June 23 at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover. “The Projectionist” is a documentary, book and multi-media exhibition that explores one man’s lifelong fascination with the golden age of film and, in particular, the grand movie palace. The exhibition features a fully operational 1920s-style movie theater that was created in the basement of Middletown native Gordon Brinckle. A documentary, created by Kendall Messick, provides a penetrating gaze into the life of this self-taught artist. The narrative follows the course of Brinckle’s life, revealing the profound desire, frustration and motivation that propelled him to create such a distinctive art environment. Original works on paper by Brinckle such as blueprints and floor plans and fine art photographs by Messick of Brinckle operating the theater are also on view. It’s a show to see. 674-2111, biggsmuseum.org
Straight from the Delaware College of Art and Design to the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, professor Alexi Natchev has his work exhibited in “Imagined Places: The Art of Alexi Natchev" through Aug. 4. The illustrator was born and educated in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since moving to the United States in 1990, he has illustrated 17 children's books, collaborating with major authors and publishers. His work has been shown in many international exhibitions and he has received several national awards. His illustrations conjure up an imaginary world of playful creatures, fairy-tale places, folktales and more. “Imagined Places” features over 60 works by Natchev, including paintings and prints representing the range of his career as an artist and illustrator. See how he researches the art and literature of a region for his illustrations in order to create a sensitive balance between fantasy and believability. “Alexi Natchev is deservedly celebrated for his colorful and imaginative children's books and is an accomplished printmaker with impressive fluency in various techniques," says Mary F. Holahan, curator of illustration. "We are thrilled to be able to display the whimsical and sometimes enigmatic illustrations of such a distinguished artist of our region.” 571-9590, delart.org