More American Illustrators at the Delaware Art Museum

LeyendeckerCountryGentlemanImages from the collection of the Delaware Art Museum.

After enjoying the Howard Pyle galleries, Ellen and I continued to the American Illustration galleries. The museum seems to have a large collection in this area, which is only fitting since many of the top American Illustrators studied in Wilmington, Delaware, the home of Howard Pyle’s illustration school. I don’t know that Frank Leyendecker was one of them, but this is a charming cover for “The Country Gentleman” magazine from 1918 of a soldier writing home and the spirit of his mother embracing him.

LoomisI'llDieAndrew Loomis is another giant in the field who did not study with Pyle. This illustrates a story by Jessamyn West from “The Ladies’ Home Journal” of March, 1946.

SchoonoverMacbethFrank Schoonover did study with Pyle, and this dramatic cover of Macbeth and Banquo’s ghost for the book “Tales from Shakespeare” by Charles and Mary Lamb shows his influence.

SchoonoverWolfCatNightingaleAnother Schoonover, this one appeared on the covers of two different books issued a year apart, an unusual event. The first was “The Wolf, The Cat and The Nightingale” by Stanley Hart Cauffman, the second was Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The White Company.”

SharkeyHarpersThis “Harper’s Bazar” cover from 1913 did not particularly impress me until I looked closely at the lettering…

SharkeyHarpersDetail…and found it was painted on the canvas with white paint! A remarkable achievement, the publisher info at right is pretty small. You can see areas where tiny parts have dropped off. Incidentally, the spelling of the magazine’s name later changed to “Bazaar.”

WyethHoweverAfterSixDaysProbably my favorite American illustrator after Maxfield Parrish is N.C. Wyeth, another student of Howard Pyle. There’s an entire museum devoted to the work of Wyeth and his family, the Brandywine River Museum of Art. We’ve been there several times, including last year, but the pictures in the Delaware Art Museum were new to me. This one illustrates the story, “The Medicine Ship” by James B. Connelly in “Scribners Magazine,” December 1915.

WyethHoweverDetailHere’s a detailed look at two of those great faces.

WyethJohnnysFightWithCherryAnother Wyeth is one of the paintings for “Drums” by James W. Boyd, the fifteenth book illustrated by Wyeth for the Scribners Illustrated Classics series, published in 1928.

There are also some N.C. Wyeth murals at the museum, but we missed them, unfortunately, by not going upstairs to the second level. We’ll have to go back!

Next time, some of the Delaware Art Museum’s extensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art.

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