Hidden Treasures

No museum can display all of its collection--not even most of its collection. To see the most valuable items, one must venture into seldom seen storage areas. What's there is often a surprise and a mystery--even to staff.


Published:

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Ê

Danielle Rice, executive director of the Delaware Art Museum, oversees the museum’s 12,000 items, most of which reside in storage. Paintings are rotated between exhibition and storage spaces to prevent damage from light.Ê Photograph by Tom Nutter

ÊÊ

It’s just like a scene from the Bible: lion side-by-side with lamb, leopard at peace with gazelle, creatures of the sea living with those of the air. But the prophet Isaiah didn’t say anything about a polar bear hiding behind a row of green cabinets.

Such is everlasting life, sort of, at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, whose storage facility is inhabited by beings of the earth, sky and sea.

The cause for this unnatural cohabitation?

“It’s simple: Space is expensive,” says Jean Woods, the museum’s curator of birds.

Though the Museum of Natural History’s collection continues to grow, display space in the museum remains constant, which leads to cramped quarters in storage. The result is a back catalog of more than 300,000 items rarely seen by the public, to be held in metal cabinets for the foreseeable future. But this museum is not alone.

In Wilmington, the new and improved Delaware Art Museum is having similar problems. Fresh off renovations that increased exhibit space, the museum is still only able to display about 300 of its 12,000 items at a time—and that does not include the 120 touring Pre-Raphaelite paintings that will return in September. During the construction last year, the museum’s library was expanded, an electronic, moveable storage system was installed, and hydro-thermographs were put in place to monitor humidity and temperature, all of which allow safe management of the collection.

“A good storage facility like this gives people access,” says Danielle Rice, executive director of the museum. “But if your storage facility is really, really cramped, it’s difficult.”

The staff at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford knows all too well how a crowded storage facility can create a difficult workspace. In order to continue collecting local art, including works by Howard Pyle and the Wyeth family, the staff began its 2003 remodeling of the 19th-century gristmill it occupies by focusing on maximizing storage space in two large rooms on the second and third floors.

Before the renovation, it was difficult for the museum to store unusual works, such as Andrew Wyeth’s charcoal drawings on paper, due to their fragility and size. (Some are larger than life.) The renovation has made organization and, more importantly, preservation manageable tasks. It is the quality of work in the entire collection that defines the museum, not just what is on display.

“Museums are set up primarily to collect, preserve and study,” says Virginia O’Hara, curator of collections at the Brandywine River Museum. “The exhibition part of it is to teach and to help people understand this information.”

Museums are the iceberg of the collecting world. People are usually impressed by what they see in the galleries, but the real power is hidden under the surface. Even the world’s most popular museums, buildings large enough to house small armies, are unable to display most of their collections. National art galleries such as the Forbidden Palace in Beijing, the Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg were all once homes to their country’s royal families, but curators today can’t find enough room to display even 5 percent of the collections now housed there.

In theory, historic estates, such as Henry Francis du Pont’s Winterthur, should be different, because the buildings should be able to display their original contents. Yet the du Ponts were always ones for disproving theories. Even Winterthur Museum’s nearly 35,000 square feet of galleries, 60-acre garden and 175 period rooms are not enough to display everything du Pont owned.

Du Pont’s obsession with decorating led to a large collection, from furniture to ceramics, but it was his fascination with textiles, most of which he would rotate with the season—or whenever else he felt the need for change—that is the largest part of the collection, says Linda Eaton, curator of textiles at Winterthur.

“Most of this beautiful stuff is in boxes,” she says. “So many beautiful things and there is just no room.”

Cramped quarters force tough decisions. At this point the issue is not what will be displayed but why it should be displayed. And each museum’s reasons are as individual as their collections.

For a research-based institution like the Museum of Natural History, the purpose of the collection drives many decisions. Most of what is archived there is studied extensively for scientific purposes, not just by the scientists on staff, but also by visitors. As one of the top institutions in the country for the study of both birds and mollusks, the museum’s collections are full of information.

An ornithological forensic squad might be thrilled to study skeleton No. 078688, a Bubo virginianus that was found dead at the Pot-Nets Trailer Park in April 1992, but most visitors aren’t too concerned about an owl that’s been dead for 15 years. Likewise, a lot of cone snails stored in alcohol would not cause most to change their spring break plans, but that was the case for a University of Washington professor who visited the museum earlier this year.

Instead, most people go there to see a walrus, with tusks as big as a human leg, that was killed in 1965. Museums realize this, so they usually present exhibits that provoke plenty of ooohs and aaahs among visitors. So the popular large mounted animals remain on display. “They aren’t very useful for scientific purposes, but they’re great for exhibits,” curator Jean Woods says. The remaining, less glamorous specimens stay safely stored upstairs.

A great exhibit at one museum might not make a great one at another, and just because things are big and flashy don’t mean they always go on display. Many pieces at the Delaware Art Museum have the bright colors and appealing images that capture one’s gaze, but when dealing with fragile materials such as paper, watercolors and linen, it is important to keep the health of the piece in mind.

“That’s why museums have such large collections,” says Rice. “We have to keep it fresh. Otherwise, all this stuff would turn completely pale in less than a year.”

The results of ongoing preservation are rooms full of works on paper, usually kept in boxes to avoid any exposure, and aisles of large and fragile works that hang in a storage room.

“You can see that the colors on the watercolors are so fresh and so beautiful, but we couldn’t keep them out forever,” Rice says.

Even non-artists know a faded piece of art does not add to the collection. The best scenario would result in an expensive conservation bill that wouldn’t even return the work to its original form. Worst-case scenario? An empty frame.

Light is the biggest threat to the health of these fragile works, doing its damage when ultraviolet rays help catalyze a chemical reaction between oxygen and any water in the fabrics. The reaction creates hydrogen peroxide, better known as bleach, and even small amounts can cause serious scarring.

To avoid fading, the pieces must be cycled: Display for less than eight weeks, then rest for about a year, says Ryan Grover, who spent a year at Winterthur before becoming curator at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover.

Rest is very important to the health of the collection, much like it is to a living creature. Unfortunately, the relationship doesn’t work the other way around. Living creatures, including humans, are unhealthy for collections. Aside from errors that can cause millions of dollars in damages, human skin secretes oils that can damage fragile material. Humans can also expose the objects to humid or bright environments and introduce unwanted specimen to the catalog. Those specimen can create a lot of trouble.

Small bugs can cause amazing amounts of damage, with silverfish, dermestid beetles and clothes moths posing the biggest threats. The beetles are so efficient at stripping an animal’s flesh from bone that the Museum of Natural History keeps a small colony in a room near the loading dock for help in preparing skeletons. But having the bugs near also can cause problems.

When creepy-crawlies do find their way into the collection, there are ways to deal with them. For individual items that may be exposed, a weeklong trip into the freezer ensures that no unwanted creature survives.

When Winterthur noticed it had silverfish in a storage room for linens, tassels, fringes and silks, it took a different approach. At one week per item, it would have taken 10 years to place each of the nearly 1,000 items in the room into a deep-freeze. So the museum has been placing box after box of century-old textiles into its carbon dioxide chamber, which fills an airtight chamber with the gas, starving the bugs of oxygen. After two weeks, the goods are deemed bug-free and returned to the comforts of their old home.

“There are no chemicals safe for the textiles and people that will kill the bugs,” Eaton says. “As much as we love this stuff, we won’t risk our health, so we just gas it.”

As one of the top bird and mollusk institutions in the United States, the Delaware Museum of Natural History gears its exhibits to the public. It recently presented an interactive exhibit on the giant squid, as well as a display of rare eggs, including one from an extinct species known as the elephant bird; its eggs are the size of a rugby ball.

As much fun as the galleries are, it would be an insult to the museum to ignore what is just up the stairs. It might not be as glamorous as the large display animals downstairs, but the rows of green and white metal cabinets that stretch the length of the building create a showcase of some of the most important examples of mollusks and birds in the world today. Some, like the passenger pigeon, Carolina parakeet and ivory-billed woodpecker, are no longer with us.

In fine art museums, an original piece is more valuable than a reprint in the museum store, but it would be impossible for scientists to find the original of a particular animal. So for a natural history museum, the strength of a collection doesn’t lie only in quantity, but also in quality.

When J.G. Walls came across a new species of cone snails in the Philippines in 1977, he did what any scientist in his situation would do: He submitted type specimens to a reputable collection, which would guarantee that what he found was acknowledged as the example of that species. Such type specimen add value to a collection. With 200 bird type specimen and more than 1,000 mollusks, the Museum of Natural History has a solid grip on the prime examples of many species.

The meat of the museum’s collection is not as flashy as the type specimen, but no less important. With 117,000 examples of birds, from skins to skeletons to eggs, and more than 2 million individual shells hidden in the nondescript cabinets, it would seem the collection would occupy any scientist for years, but that is not the case.

“Every thing here is individually different,” Woods says. “They come from different places during different times of the year. You need to have representations of each of those sexes or ages to understand the variation of the species. Cardinals in 1910 might be different than cardinals in 2007. So the collection is never finished because the natural world is always changing.”

Not everything is stashed in metal cabinets. Which is where the old stereotype of scientists using formaldehyde and alcohol to preserve things comes into play.

“For some items, this is the only way to store them,” says Liz Shea, curator of mollusks, motioning toward a long-dead squid. “A dried cephalopod is of no use to anyone.”

The benefit of storing items this way is that their tissue, especially internal organs, skin and muscles, can be studied in the growing field of biological tissue sampling.

Even items with little to no scientific value find their way into the collection. No one has the heart to throw away a sea urchin replica made with thousands of tiny shells and a hot glue gun. Shell art can be beautiful, but it has little scientific value.

“We like shells dirty and we like them with things growing on them, because you can learn more about them,” Shea says. “It’s a snapshot of biodiversity at that time and place.”

In terms of research, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Museum function like the natural history museum. Though many of the primary artists represented in their collections have been dead for some time, their influence on artists in the area is still prevalent, which means a collection will never be complete.

“The art history of the area seems to be constantly unfolding,” says Halsey Spruance, director of public relations for the Brandywine River Museum. “So this is hardly a stagnant collection.”

Over the past few years, a popular new exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum has highlighted Jamie Wyeth’s association with Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. The exhibit has drawn good reviews, but it has also overshadowed a more important, albeit less publicized, addition.

When Ann Wyeth McCoy, last living sibling of Andrew Wyeth, died in November 2005, the museum knew it had lost a close friend. What the curators didn’t know was that the McCoy family had a sizable gift in mind. Books, photographs, letters, even paint palettes that once belonged to the Wyeths or Ann’s husband, John McCoy, a student of N.C. Wyeth, were donated. Though the public will see none of them in the near future, their historical significance is immeasurable.

“It’s wonderful to have all of that material, but it’s way more than the average person would be interested in,” says curator Virginia O’Hara. “It would just be more interesting to researchers.”

With so many pieces in its catalog, the Delaware Art Museum is in a similar situation with each of its big three collections: works by Howard Pyle and other early American illustrators, the Pre-Raphaelites and John Sloan. Some works are just more important for historical purposes than for exhibitions.

Many of Pyle’s original books, including his famous “Book of Pirates,” rest in the museum’s rare book room, where they sleep, untouched in the darkness. While aficionados may wish to get their hands on them, the fragile yellowed pages would be easily damaged by even the most delicate finger, so for the sake of preservation, the works remain tucked away.

A few turns through an underground labyrinth from the library, a heavy metal door guards more of the museum’s treasures.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

May 2018

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

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

Discover inspiration in nature with this relaxing workshop. Observe and capture the beauty of the natural world in a journal using watercolor, pen, and ink. Instructor: Rosemary Connelly. 30-minute...

Cost: $75 Members, $95 Non-Members

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


Website »

More information

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
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

It’s Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday, and three fairies – Flora, Fauna and Merryweather – must use their magic to save her from the spell of the evil sorceress,...

Cost: $8

Where:
The Everett Theatre
47 W Main St
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »


Sponsor: The Everett Theatre
Telephone: 302-232-6338
Website »

More information

Ahoy Mateys! Come Sail on Kalmar Nyckel, the Tall Ship of Delaware. Landlubbers — come walk the plank of this authentic seagoing re-creation of a 17th-Century Dutch Pinnace.  Our crew don pirate...

Cost: $40-$60

Where:
Historic New Castle
, DE

More information

Did you know that an exhibition can take years to create and involve dozens of people? Join senior Curator of Ceramics and Glass Leslie Grigsby, curator of Dining by Design: Nature Displayed on...

Cost: members free, $15 per nonmember

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

Rocks and Roll Mills Walking Tour at Hagley Museum Visitors explore the geology of the Brandywine Valley and its impact on the milling industry. Take home a piece of Delaware Blue Rock as a...

Cost: Included in admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 65802400 x 238
Contact Name: Jessica Eisenbrey
Website »

More information

Observe nature through the lenses of art, horticulture, mindfulness, and the environment on an expert-led walking tour. Walks begin at a different site each week and last one hour unless otherwise...

Cost: $15 Members, $20 Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Center for Horticulture
1810 N Dupont St,
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Art Museum
Website »

More information

Guests are invited to haul lines, set sails, and enjoy tales of the original Kalmar Nyckel 

Cost: $40-$60

Where:
Historic New Castle
, DE

More information

Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 4 p.m. The Arts at Trinity presents Serafin String Quartet Featuring Shostakovich string quartet No. 7, Mozart Divertimento in Eb Major, K. 563 and Chausson Concerto...

Cost: Free

Where:
Trinity Episcopal Church
1108 N. Adams Street
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Sponsor: The Arts at Trinity

More information

AIDS Delaware Spring-GO! – May 20, 6:00-9:30pm Date: May 20, 2018 Start Time: 6:00pm-9:30pm Event Location: Chambers Memorial Hall, 3900 Kirkwood Highway, 19808...

Cost: $12

Where:
Chambers Memorial Hall
3900 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »


Sponsor: AIDS Delaware
Telephone: 302-652-6776
Contact Name: Iris A. McKenney
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Alexi Natchev: Prints and Drawings will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from May 4-25, 2018. A free opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday, May 4 from 5-7 p.m. Alexi...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
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 FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

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

This class will focus on light, compostition, and mechanical techniques to produce the ultimate landscape photograph. The session will culminate in an exhibition of student work at the DuPont...

Cost: $200 Members, $225 Non-Members

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy beautiful views of the City, Christina River and marsh with Zumba Fitness! Zumba is a latin inspired, dance fitness class that incorporates latin and international music and dance movements...

Cost: $10

Where:
DuPont Environmental Education Center
1400 Delmarva Lane
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Alexi Natchev: Prints and Drawings will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from May 4-25, 2018. A free opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday, May 4 from 5-7 p.m. Alexi...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
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

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

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

Wee Ones is now offered every week! This early childhood series intended for children ages 3-5 incorporates active learning through music, movement, and the exploration of objects in a warm and...

Cost: $5 per child and $5 per adult with paying child

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

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

The Craft and Business of Writing and Publishing. Have you ever thought about writing a book? Author Todd Harra will discuss the process of turning an idea into a manuscript, and how to bring...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 302-658-5125
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Alexi Natchev: Prints and Drawings will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from May 4-25, 2018. A free opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday, May 4 from 5-7 p.m. Alexi...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
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

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

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

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

Wednesdays, April–October  11:00 am, Brown Horticulture Learning Center Go behind-the-scenes with the experts! Each week Winterthur introduces you to a specialist who will share with you his/her...

Cost: free with admission

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


Telephone: 180-044-83883
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

The Ministry of Caring hosts our Annual Recognition Banquet to honor a few of our most active, long-standing supporters — people who made serving vulnerable members of society a priority in their...

Cost: $75 per person, $1,000 per table of eight

Where:
Francis X. Norton Center
917 N. Madison St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-516-1071
Website »

More information

DATE NIGHT THROW DOWN Wednesday, May 23 | 6 - 9 PM Early registration: $30 - DISCOUNT ENDS MAY 1st! Regular price: $40 Plan a date night with friends, someone special, or...

Cost: $40

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Website »

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Alexi Natchev: Prints and Drawings will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from May 4-25, 2018. A free opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday, May 4 from 5-7 p.m. Alexi...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
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

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
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

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

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

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

Charity Golf Event to benefit Children's Beach House A great way to start your Memorial Day weekend a day early! Make sure to register as a single golfer or register your foursome ahead of...

Cost: $225 Single Golfer / $900 Foursome

Where:
Peninsula on Indian River Bay
26937 Bay Farm Rd.
Millsboro, DE  19966
View map »


Sponsor: The Ocean Atlantic Companies
Website »

More information

Crooked Hammock Brewery is celebrating the unofficial start of summer all Memorial Day weekend! The festivities kick off on Thursday, May 24th with the release of their two summer seasonal beers,...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Crooked Hammock Brewery
Telephone: 302-644-7837
Contact Name: Jon
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

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

  Join Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant as they open their doors to the public on May 24, 2018!  

Cost: Free

Where:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
19815 Coastal Hwy
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Sponsor: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Alexi Natchev: Prints and Drawings will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from May 4-25, 2018. A free opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday, May 4 from 5-7 p.m. Alexi...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

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

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

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

Crooked Hammock Brewery is celebrating the unofficial start of summer all Memorial Day weekend! The festivities kick off on Thursday, May 24th with the release of their two summer seasonal beers,...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Crooked Hammock Brewery
Telephone: 302-644-7837
Contact Name: Jon
Website »

More information

  Join Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant as they open their doors to the public on May 24, 2018!  

Cost: Free

Where:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
19815 Coastal Hwy
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Sponsor: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

More information

Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Sixth annual St. Catherine of Siena Community Garage Sale held in Church parking lot. One-stop shopping! Approximately 25 homes gather in one location to make your garage sale shopping...

Cost: $25/Consignors ONLY

Where:
St. Catherine of Siena Parish Parking Lot
2503 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »


Sponsor: St. Catherine of Siena
Telephone: 302-239-1699
Contact Name: Mary Gispert
Website »

More information

The 11th annual Artisans Fair, featuring unique handcrafted art objects, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at Lord Baltimore Elementary School on Route 26 in Ocean View, DE. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lord Baltimore Elementary School
Route 26
Ocean View, DE  19970
View map »


Sponsor: South Coastal DE AARP Chapter
Telephone: 302-732-6336
Contact Name: Ida Crist
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

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

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

Crooked Hammock Brewery is celebrating the unofficial start of summer all Memorial Day weekend! The festivities kick off on Thursday, May 24th with the release of their two summer seasonal beers,...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Crooked Hammock Brewery
Telephone: 302-644-7837
Contact Name: Jon
Website »

More information

Science Saturday – River Rangers River Rangers learn how to gauge the health of our local waterways by observing the variety of critters living in it. Visitors of all ages are invited to...

Cost: Activities are included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 65802400 x 238
Contact Name: Jessica Eisenbrey
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module