Brandywine River Museum
Art and nature come together in a scenic riverside setting
Andrew Wyeth, known as one of America’s most famous painters, died on January 16th, 2009 at the age of 91. The Brandywine River Museum has a number of his works in their collection, making it an excellent place for his fans to go to celebrate his life and works.
It’s hard to imagine a more bucolic place in which to explore art than the Brandywine River Museum run by the Brandywine Conservancy on a nature preserve. As you stroll its galleries, remember that the very settings which inspired much of the art on view-rolling hills, snowy drifts, and, always, the river-surround you. For many, this landscape, at once rough and gentle, has become synonymous with Andrew Wyeth, whose work is exhibited here in abundance.
Also on view: the illustrations of his father, N.C., and the realistic paintings of his son, Jamie, as well as that of their contemporaries. A tour through the terrain of the Brandywine Valley, the history of American illustration, and the contributions of the very creative Wyeth family, the Museum offers much for all kinds of art lovers.
The museum is housed in a renovated 1864 grist mill, and its grounds include wildflower gardens and, of course, that ever-meandering river. Since its founding, the museum’s collection has grown to include more than 2,500 landscapes, still lifes, genre paintings, and illustrations from hundreds of 19th- and 20th-century American artists.
The Brandywine Conservancy
Billowing native grasses and trees line the road leading to the former Civil War-era gristmill that’s now a showcase for American art. The Brandywine Conservancy planted the surrounding gardens. Visit the terrace overlooking Brandywine Creek and then follow the tree-lined path that parallels the water. On the neighboring property, smaller gardens demonstrate the use of native plants in a typical home landscape.
Take a shuttle bus from the museum to the N.C. Wyeth house and studio, opened from April through mid-November.
The museum schedules family events throughout the year. Kids will especially love the Wyeth studio, filled with the props he used when illustrating books like Treasure Island.