Is it possible to interpret violent combat between conflicting peoples—a concept otherwise known as war—in an optimistic way? All evidence points to a yes, judging by “This is War” at the Delaware Art Museum.
The display of more than 40 illustrations and posters examines the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I and World War II through the eyes of artists Winslow Homer, Howard Pyle, Frank E. Schoonover, John Sloan, and N.C. Wyeth.
“World War I imagery was sort of optimistic, as if it was the war to end all wars,” says Danielle Rice, executive director of the museum. “That’s when you saw drawings of Uncle Sam telling people to do the right thing and to be patriotic.”
Though Howard Pyle’s Revolutionary War drawings were done 100 years after the war ended, his imagery became the popular perspective of his time. Civil War images are more intense. Winslow Homer was a correspondent at the time, so his work was done in the field.
The exhibit is sure to arouse discussions about the changing nature of patriotism. Had the exhibit included the wars in Vietnam and Korea or the War on Terrorism, the feeling may have been different. “If we were to do an exhibition of World War I imagery to the present, for example, it would certainly have images of dissent, which is what’s missing from this particular exhibition,” Rice says.
The exhibit includes much patriotic imagery that is extremely uplifting, says Rice. “My hope is that it will add a little humor and education to what I consider a very sad subject.”
The exhibit ends August 31. For more, call 571-9590 or visit delart.org. —Maria Hess
Blues on the River
Wilmington’s Riverfront Blues Festival will bust out with the cream of the musical crop at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park August 8-10. Opening the jam on Friday is the internationally acclaimed Homemade Jamz’ Blues Band, the youngest blues band to sign with a major record label. (Drummer Taya Perry is 9. Her brothers are 13 and 15.) Other acts include The Mannish Boys, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, Michael Burks, Sharrie Williams & The Wise Guys, and Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials. Expect serious playing. For tickets and info, visit riverfrontbluesfest.com.
Forget television. Real ER doctors don’t have nutty romantic interludes seconds prior to surgery or witty arguments with paramedics as patients on stretchers cling to life. They do, however, need to let off steam. One group of ER docs from Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington Hospital, Milford Memorial Hospital, Kent General Hospital and Union Hospital in Elkton, Maryland, started Code Blue, a rock ’n’ roll cover band. Docs Brian Levine, Ashok Subramanian, Jeff Tiongson and Bob Mink will play the Tour de Lance 5K run-walk at the Wilmington Riverfront on August 13. “As emergency physicians, no one is ever really happy to see us,” says Subramanian. “It’s a nice balance to be able to make people feel better when they’re having a good time. Music is the best medicine.” For more, call (443) 553-7777 or visit CodeBlueLive.com.
Praising the Peach
Delaware is big on peaches. Two events pay homage to the juicy treat: the Wyoming Peach Festival on August 2 and Middletown’s Old Tyme Peach Festival on August 16. Both events kick off with a parade and offer a glorious supply of peach ice cream, homemade peach pies and bushels of ripe, fat peaches, as well as crafts and live music for adults and cool activities for kids. For more on the Wyoming fest, call 697-3587 or Fifer Orchards at 697-2141. For Middletown, call 378-7466. Admission is free.