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Politics and Paint: Barbara Bodichon and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood


Nov 3, 2018 to Feb 3, 2019
10:00 AM until 08:00 PM


Pre-Raphaelite painter and women’s rights campaigner Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827–1891) was an early female participant in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Landscape was Bodichon’s preferred genre, and her style reflects Pre-Raphaelite principles of careful observation and detailed rendering. 

As a tireless reformer and champion of women’s rights, Bodichon developed strategies to extend university education to women. In 1854, she published her Brief Summary of the Laws of England Concerning Women,which was later used to promote the passage of the Married Women’s Property act of 1882. 

This exhibition examines Bodichon’s process and features watercolor sketches and drawings from her travels. The approximately 30 works are drawn from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the University of Delaware and recent acquisitions in the Museum’s permanent collection. In 2016, the Museum acquired the watercolor Ventnor, Isle of Wight(1856), which became the inspiration for this exhibition. 

This exhibition is organized by the Delaware Art Museum. Image: Wildflowers, not dated. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827–1891). Watercolor on paper, 11 3/8 × 8 1/2 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Acquisition Fund, 2017.


Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.


View map Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE

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New Castle County



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