Hagley Museum's Patent Model Collection Travels to China

The 'Spirit of Invention' exhibition, currently on display at Tsinghua University in Beijing, aims to inspire young entrepreneurs—no easy task in a country still bound by the principles of communism.


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Hagley executive director David Cole is excited about the Chinese exhibition’s potential to tell America’s story.//Carlos Alejandro

 

In 1866, Albert H. Kennedy, an 18-year-old farm boy in Medina County, Ohio, patented a design for power-driven sheep shears. In his design, turning a crank compressed a spring which, when released, drove the clippers. As required by the U.S. Patent Office, Kennedy submitted a small model that demonstrated how it functioned.

Kennedy died in 1940, and his device has been obsolete still longer. But, next year, both will find a new relevance on the other side of the world. Kennedy’s wood-and-brass model, which he may well have made on his parents’ kitchen table, will be among several dozen from Hagley Museum’s collection of 5,000 mostly 19th-century models to tour China in what will be billed as the “Spirit of Invention” exhibition, opening in April at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

In a way, though, Kennedy himself will be on tour.

“The Chinese government is very keen to have an economy that is inventive,” says David Cole, executive director of Hagley Museum. “They want to grow their own group of inventors, in part by showing that ordinary people can be incredibly inventive and entrepreneurial.”

There is a solid reason for this: Entrepreneurialism is where the money is.

In 2000, revenues for state-owned and private companies in China were about even—about 4 trillion yuan in each category. By 2013, revenues of state-owned enterprises had grown 600 percent. The revenue of private companies, meanwhile, was up 1,800 percent. The increase in profitability was even more dramatic: 700 percent vs. 2,300 percent.

Naturally, the Chinese are now all about entrepreneurship. That involves both teaching it as a specific skill and making it acceptable in a country in which it is not part of the culture. As recently as 40 years ago, owning private property in China was a crime.

Beginning in 1966, Mao Zedong, then chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, led a decade-long purge to rid China of its last vestiges of capitalism. In the so-called Cultural Revolution, private property was seized and the population organized into collective enterprises. Many of these collectives were assigned to produce a single commodity—for example, steel—but then failed to meet their goals. This experiment with communist “fundamentalism” ended with Mao’s death.

The leaders then cast aside ideology and did what they believed was right for the people, according to Bonan Lin, a Chinese patent attorney. To attract foreign investment, China established a patent system in the late 1970s, and has since modified it several times. Yet China is still reconciling itself to the idea of allowing an individual or company to have monopolistic rights to an invention. Such rights are the very essence of private property.

In the past, Bonan told the Pacific Intellectual Property Association in 2004, “scientists were educated free of charge by the state, and in fact all scientists were working for the government or state-owned firms. There was no reason to grant monopoly power to the inventors, and thus having to pay royalty for something that the state had already paid for.”

Changing that sort of thinking takes time, and it has focused heavily on the young. In 2001, nine Chinese universities launched programs in entrepreneurial education. As of 2016, China has graduated 7.65 million students from these programs, which have been required from all universities since 2015. A government report called mass entrepreneurship and innovation the “twin engines to upgrade industries.”

Yet Chinese experts have been dissatisfied with the results. In a recent report on the state of entrepreneurial education, Jiehua Huang, psychology professor at Guangzhou University, says curricula were underdeveloped, faculty inexperienced and support programs—internships, for example—too few. Then there’s the culture.

“China’s cultural tradition advocates academic excellence to obtain respect and job security,” says Jiehua. “Unlike their counterparts from other cultures, Chinese students do not fully benefit from entrepreneurship courses that encourage innovation since they place less importance on creativity and have a general risk-avoidance mindset.”

Enter Albert Kennedy, whose story—along with those of the other models’ inventors—may encourage a different mindset in some exhibit-goers, says Ma Sai, associate professor in the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University. Ma curated the exhibition.

Kennedy knew sheep, and his invention was undoubtedly the result of having sheared many of the squirming creatures by hand. His father, William, had moved to northern Ohio in 1838 and—after the wolves were exterminated—went on to be one of Medina County’s largest sheep farmers, as well as an active citizen. William Kennedy was a justice of the peace and county commissioner. According to a history of Medina County, the senior Kennedy’s own father, John, a Revolutionary soldier, had driven the ox-drawn carts that carried hay bales to the top of Bunker Hill, where they were used to build fortifications.

Inheriting the can-do spirit, Kennedy seems to have spent much of his life as an educator, with other ventures on the side. In 1881, he patented a set of mensuration blocks—hinged wooden blocks that assemble into spheres, cylinders and other geometric shapes—to demonstrate principles of volume. At the turn of the 20th century, he was superintendent of schools in Rockport, Indiana, where he was a vigorous advocate for building a railroad bridge across the Ohio River. In 1920, he was proprietor of the town’s waterworks. A local history called Kennedy “The Wizard of Spencer County.”

The inventors of Hagley’s other models had greater or lesser trajectories. George H. Corliss (1817-1888) of Providence, Rhode Island, first stepped into the limelight in 1837 when, at the age of 20, he organized the reconstruction of a local bridge washed out by a flood. Corliss later patented a machine for sewing boots, shoes and heavy leather, then went on to develop the Corliss Steam Engine, whose efficiency made steam power more economical than water power. Corliss’ engine won first prize at the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris. Hagley’s “Spirit of Invention” tour will include Corliss’ 1877 patent model for a gear-cutting machine.

Then, in Troy, New York, there was Samuel S.B. Lewis, a bookkeeper for the American Safe Steam Co., and his partner, William H. Sterling, who, in 1871, patented a “burglar-proof safe.” Their venture seems to have gone precisely nowhere. Which, of course, is also part of the story.

“Hagley’s exhibits (will) enable Chinese people to better understand American innovative culture and spirit 200 years ago, so as to inspire enthusiasm for innovation and creation,” Ma says. “The collections of Hagley Museum are very rich, and we hope that this exhibition is only a start.”

There was some serendipity in putting all this together, but also some entrepreneurship on the part of Cole, who came to Hagley in 2013 with “a strong urge to share all that Hagley has to offer”—a diplomatic way of saying that, despite a rich collection (more than 50,000 objects) documenting the history of American business and technology, the museum remains a bit obscure. In 2012, the total number of visitors to Hagley was about 55,000. Nearby Longwood Gardens, another DuPont-founded treasure—drew 1.3 million in 2016.

Nonprofits thrive on partnerships, so part of the formula for success is simple: Cooperating on projects is less expensive for all concerned, and it offers opportunities to introduce an organization to a new audience. Since Cole arrived, therefore, he has become a warrior for the cause.

In 2016, Cole was at the Smithsonian for a talk about Hagley’s recently (2015) acquired Rothschild Collection of patent models. Over 25 years, Alan Rothschild, a medical devices entrepreneur, and his wife, Ann, had acquired the world’s largest collection—about 4,000 models. The Rothschilds’ gift to Hagley joined about a thousand models already in the museum’s collection.

Such models were once the property of the U.S. Patent Office, but devastating fires in 1836 and 1877 destroyed or damaged more than 100,000 of them. In 1893, the surviving models were put in storage. Then, in the early 20th century, the U.S. Commerce Department decided to get rid of them all. Some were returned to their inventors or their survivors. About 10,000 went to the Smithsonian. The rest were sold at auction.

“So there I was at the Smithsonian about a year ago, lecturing on patent models,” Cole says. “And afterward a woman comes up to me and says that we should send our models to China.”

Outlandish idea? Not really. That woman, Rose Chen, says Cole “lit up.”

Chen, a native of Taiwan, knows people. President of the Rose Group for Cross-Cultural Understanding, Chen has made it her lifework to find and create opportunities for Chinese and Americans to speak to each other in ways that foster peace.

“There is a lot of misinformation about China in the United States,” she says, noting that the reverse is also true. “I was afraid that if we continue on this path, maybe someday because of misunderstanding or the cultural clashes, we will find a collision. And I certainly didn’t want it to happen.”

That dread came to a peak on Sept. 11, 2001. Chen’s son worked in that section of the Pentagon struck by a hijacked airliner. Fortunately, he was out that week with the flu. But, Chen says, “it was still too close.”

In the years since, the Rose Group has facilitated exchange programs between U.S. and Chinese journalism schools, taken winners from its annual short-film competition to China and launched ChinaFest, a weeklong festival—now in its 13th year—of Chinese film, arts and other cultural events held each year in Richmond, Virginia.

Until Chen heard Cole speak, she had never heard of Hagley.

“I was just amazed,” she says. “I had no idea of the entrepreneurship of just regular folks.” Knowing of China’s interest in encouraging entrepreneurs, “a light bulb went on.”

Chen called the cultural attaché at China’s Washington embassy. The attaché suggested partnering with Tsinghua University.

“I thought Tsinghua would present a good opportunity to engage legal experts, American chambers of commerce and the embassies,” says Chen. “It also has a law school and is a very prestigious university.” Cole agreed. He notes that Tsinghua—“the MIT of China”—is the university from which much of China’s current leadership graduated.

The attaché then called Tsinghua’s director of foreign affairs, who in turn called Chen. Introductions were made. Chen and Cole visited China, touring the Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Shenzhen centers where the exhibition will appear.

“I nodded a lot,” says Cole, who does not speak Chinese. “But the Chinese were excellent with translations. They want to get every nuance of meaning.” Tsinghua then sent a delegation of 25 deans, faculty and top graduate students to choose models for the exhibit.

“The idea was to have a brainstorming session,” says Cole. “We’re co-curating the show, so each side chose half the models.” Sixty were selected. Hagley supplied background information such as the inventors’ patent applications and whatever biographical information exists about them. Students and faculty with Tsinghua’s school of art and design designed the exhibit.

“They have complete creative license to build an environment for our artifacts that will bring them to life,” says Cole. Hagley’s Chinese partners are expecting a total audience of more than 1 million—a lot by Delaware standards.

Cole is gung-ho about the exhibition’s potential to tell America’s story.

“This exhibit has two messages,” he says. “One, the protection of intellectual property was a key ingredient in America’s industrial and economic success. Two, anyone can invent. We think of famous names, but the reality is that the vast majority of inventions were produced by people no one ever heard of, people who saw a problem, a way to make some money and a way to contribute. If the audience in China comes away with nothing more than those messages, we will have done our jobs.”

And Albert Kennedy will have done his.

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More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: MID-WEEK WORD REFRESHER Come join us at the Mid-Week Word Refresher every Wednesday at Faith Victory Christian Center from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Refreshments will be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Faith Victory Christian Center
301 Commonwealth Avenue
Claymont, DE  19703
View map »


Sponsor: Faith Victory Christian Center
Telephone: 302.354.6726
Contact Name: Alvin Walker
Website »

More information

Eleganza Luncheon & Fashion Show Wednesday, September 26 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Join us for our annual luncheon and fashion show, presented by the Ministry of Caring Guild and benefiting...

Cost: Contact Office

Where:
Hotel DuPont
42 W 11th St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Ministry of Caring Guild
Telephone: 302-652-5523
Contact Name: Cindy Gamble
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Visit the former dairy and farm while exploring the ever-changing estate landscape on this narrated tram tour. Hear accounts of estate history as you see how we have repurposed historic work areas....

Cost: $5 per person upgrade. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

NEW DATE: Wednesday, September 26 | 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.Location: Kingswood Community Center In partnership with Network Delaware, the Museum will present a Town Hall discussion on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kingswood Community Center
2300 Bowers St.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

View the new exhibition “The World Is Following Its People: Indigenous Art and Arctic Ecology and meet several of the UD students who helped bring it to life as curators. This reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

We’re very excited that it’s almost time for our 12th Annual Delaware FFA Foundation, Inc.’s Golf Tournament ! This year the tournament will take place on Thursday, September...

Cost: 450

Where:
Heritage Shores Club
1 Heritage Shores Circle
Bridgeville, DE  19933
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware FFA Foundation
Telephone: 302-245-7882
Contact Name: Justin Bailey
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Try practicing yoga in a beautiful garden setting, strengthening your body and spirit. Our yoga class is open to all levels. We will practice slow, easy motions to get into the rhythm of nature....

Cost: $10

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Story Time Thursdays 10:30 - 11 a.m. Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story time takes place in the otter circle, in the main zoo, and may include a craft,...

Cost: $7 - $0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Get lost in a book during Mt. Cuba’s Story Time in the Gardens. Children are invited to visit the gardens on Thursday mornings for a story from a nature-themed children’s book. Intended for...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd.
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Mt. Cuba Center
Telephone: 302-239-8883
Contact Name: Sara Stevenson
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

The Farm Stand is located in front of the Museum Store at the Cottage on Thursdays, July–September, 1:30–5:30 pm. Visit us to select fresh, local produce. Parking is available behind the...

Cost: free

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Relax and unwind after a long day with the Museum’s popular Happy Hour series. Enjoy live music on the terrace with friends or tour the galleries indoors. Special themed nights will be scheduled...

Cost: Museum galleries are open with free admission every Thursday from 4–8 pm

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Milton Historical Society’s 2018 King Cole Cannery Celebrity Chef Cook-Off takes place on Thursday, September 27, 2018, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Milton Fire Hall, 116 Front Street, Milton,...

Cost: $45 non-members and at the door; members $35 before September 25

Where:
Milton Fire Hall
116 Front Street
Milton, DE  19968
View map »


Sponsor: Milton Historical Society
Telephone: 302-684-1010
Contact Name: Kimberly Fabbri, PhD
Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Each month, the DelArt Readers will select a book, collection of articles, or film with a creative slant. These boundary-crossing readings will provide opportunity to question, debate,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Our final Cigars & Stars dinner of the 2018 season! Join us for a fabulous dinner, premium open bar, live music and cigars by Black Cat, all under the stars on our beautiful outdoor...

Cost: 125.00 per person, inclusive

Where:
Harry's Savoy Grill & Ballroom
2020 Naamans Road
Wilmington, DE  19810
View map »


Sponsor: Harry's Hospitality Group
Telephone: 130-247-53000
Contact Name: Judy Champion
Website »

More information

7:30 p.m. Gallery Talks | 8:00 p.m. Concerts Concerts on Kentmere presents chamber music performances by Pyxis Piano Quartet, the Museum’s ensemble in residence. During their 10th anniversary...

Cost: $30 Members, $35 Non-Members, $25 Students.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Dueling Pianos at Uptown! features a new duo of talented and entertaining pianists every month. Audience driven so it's never the same show twice! Buy Tickets Here!  http://bit.ly/2LfcYtC  

Cost: $18-$23

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
View map »


Website »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free for Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton , DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Art Museum

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
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MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
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Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
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LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
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Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
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By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Telephone: 302-831-2204
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September 28th at 5:30pm, Canine Training Workshop ATTENTION DOG OWNERS! Would you like tips on teaching and reinforcing basic obedience to your dog? Do you have any questions regarding your...

Cost: Free

Where:
Outside the Brandywine Zoo Education Building
1001 N Park Dr
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Sponsor: Brandywine Zoo AAZK Chapter
Contact Name: Katlyn Muse
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Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
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After a decade, the Tilton Mansion Preservation Society, Inc., Medical Society of Delaware and the University and Whist Club came together to bring back this prestigious award gala, in 2017. The...

Cost: $120/person

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N. Broom St.
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: Tilton Mansion Preservation Society
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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Count Manfredo di San Bonifaico will immerse you in an authentic Tuscan food and wine experience. Journey through over 1000 years of family history in winemaking as you taste all five of his...

Cost: $95.00

Where:
The Clubhouse at Baywood
32267 Clubhouse Way
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Sponsor: Creative Coastal Connections Corp.
Telephone: 302-245-4262
Contact Name: Stacy LaMotta

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NspireD, LLC proudly presents the KALEIDOSCOPE Survivors Ball: Celebrating the Beauty of Broken Pieces. This event is for women living with all types of cancer as well as caregivers, family,...

Cost: $50 before 8/31 & $65 until 9/15

Where:
DoubleTree Hotel
4727 Concord Pike
Unit 525
Wilmington, DE  19803
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Sponsor: NspireD, LLC
Telephone: 610-812-9997
Contact Name: Nicolle D. Surratte
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Better Than Bacon performs in completely unscripted improvisational games, which are all driven by YOUR suggestions and interactions. Every word and every action is completely made up...

Cost: $15

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
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By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Telephone: 302-831-2204
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Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Grab your cape and lace up your running shoes! The 1st Annual Asperger's Alliance Superhero Dash & Autism Resource Event is Saturday, September 28, 2018. The Superhero Dash is a family...

Cost: Walk/Run $25/$20 Autism Event Free

Where:
Glasgow Park
2275 Pulaski Highway
Newark, DE  19702
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Sponsor: Asperger's Alliance
Telephone: (302)285-9624
Contact Name: Rebecca Clark
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Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
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The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
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EGYPTIAN FESTIVAL Please join us for our annual Egyptian Festival at St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church of Delaware from September 29 to September 30. While you’re trying the Egyptian...

Cost: FREE

Where:
St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church
1644 Otts Chapel Road
Newark, DE  19702
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A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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September 29 (Saturday) Iron Hill Powwow This event is to highlight native people (First Nations) that live in the tri-state area by having them share their crafts, dances, songs, games, and...

Cost: $5-adults, $4-students & kids, DAS-$2, kids under 4-Free, Scouts in uniform-Free

Where:
Iron Hill Museum
1355 Old Baltimore Pike
Newark, DE  19702
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Sponsor: Delaware Academy of Science, Inc.
Telephone: 130-236-85703
Contact Name: Maureen Zieber
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Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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In partnership with the Korean American Association of Delaware  Participate in a cultural exchange with activities and performances exploring both traditional and modern Korean culture and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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An indulgent food, wine and music experience that will ignite your senses!  Join us as we celebrate the very best of South Coastal Delaware with 20 top restaurants providing food paired with...

Cost: $75 $85 After September 4 $90 at door

Where:
Independence Clubhouse
23767 Samuel Adams Circle
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Sponsor: Creative Coastal Connections Corp.
Telephone: 302-245-4262
Contact Name: Stacy LaMotta
Website »

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Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
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In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

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Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

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MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

FORGED OF NATURE FASHION FUNDRAISER Saturday, September 29, 7 - 10 PM Enjoy a performance runway show presented by Ellen Durkan of Iron Maiden Forge and Shannah Warwick of BlckBts. Durkan...

Cost: $65 - $100

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Best known for his starring role on the NBC comedy series “Undateable” and the Netflix special “Man on Fire,” Chris D’Elia brings his “Follow The Leader Tour” to The Event Center at...

Cost: $39-$59

Where:
SugarHouse Casino
1001 N. Delaware Ave
Philadelphia, PA  19125
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Zahra Noor Presents A Night of North African & Middle Eastern Dance ​ Starring Nada El Masriya Saturday, September 29th, 2018 Doors: 8 p.m. Show: 8:30 p.m. ​ Location:...

Cost: $25

Where:
Wilmington Friends School Theatre
101 School Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
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