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“Wow! Is this Wilmington?”

Delaware Art Museum
Ranked #7 of 72 things to do in Wilmington
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A collection of American art from 1840 to the present.
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
90 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wow! Is this Wilmington?”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

In a beautiful section of the city, it was a surprise to find such a well curated and carefully planned art museum. Terrific gift shop and cafe. Wonderful staff and volunteers. Visiting the sculpture garden was perfect way to enjoy a spring afternoon.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank ArtF_52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
wilds of New Jersey
Level Contributor
234 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“A Pleasant Surprise!”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Having heard nothing about this museum before, my expectations were low. What a pleasant surprise! The collection, while not vast, is full of surprising gems. There is concentration in the areas of Illustration (esp. Pyle), the PreRaphaelites, and the group of 8 (a.k.a. Ashcan school); but other areas also offered some real Aha! moments. And don't skip the outdoor sculpture garden and labyrinth.
Admission is free on Sundays: great way to spend the afternoon!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ken B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, DE
Level Contributor
63 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Generosity”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

This place got a major rebuild about ten years back, and it's yet to grow into it. The galleries are cavernous and dark, and that's too bad because much of what's on exhibit is small and detailed. There's a lot of glass, maybe to brighten things up. But it's tinted too dark, and the most noticeable effect is to damage the acoustics; somehow every sound is amplified. As another reviewer mentioned, the management likes to make children feel welcome. They've succeeded, maybe too well. Enthusiastic little barks resonate through the corridors.

Then there's the museum shop. An assortment of thingies that might once have engendered retail appeal on a boardwalk or in The Franklin Mint. It's separated by (more) glass from a cafeteria that others on this site have said enough about.

The collection was begun a hundred years ago with an important group of Pre-Raphaelites. Some of these are impressive, so If your taste runs to this sort of thing, then the place may be worth a visit. Elsewhere one can rediscover images that once graced 'sixties Buick ads, Sports Illustrated pages, or mid-century ladies' magazines. Illustrator Howard Pyle, whose paintbrush favored pirates, colonial patriots, and mermaids, is a Local Hero. If you're of a certain age, you may recognize pictures from your grade school edition of Treasure Island. Is it "art"? Search me. That dean of American illustration, Norman Rockwell, repeatedly insisted that his job was to make pictures for magazine covers, and that he wasn't an artist.

A trip upstairs revealed some very nice work from the Ashcan School and The Eight. Down the corridor, it seemed like half the upper storey was given over to children's book illustrations. Prominently displayed throughout, on video screens and big-print signage, is an accounting of donor generosity. You'll be able to peruse the contributors' names, as well as the dollar amount of their gifts. Just in case you missed the point, there's a big, clear glass vitrine for spontaneous giving.

Oh, well; the garden out back is really nice.

Admission free Sundays.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Exspecto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice little museum...”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Free admission on Sunday with free parking. The museum is located in a beautiful, quite residential neignborhood. We went on the "highlights" tour of the museum", and it was very pleasant and educational. If you are interesting in American art and illustration from the 19th to the 21st century, or the English Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-19th century, this is good place to go. They also offering "Silver Screen Sundays" and it is free as well. The "Silver Screen Sunday" is part of the Shakespearean festival and there are 3 Shakespeare playswhich run through March 2013.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank thewilson5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Peaceful Place for Art”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

This museum is gorgeous! The building is beautiful and the gardens were lovely even on a cold winter's day. I had bad luck because 2 or 3 exhibits were closed but I enjoyed the rest of it!
Of course its main attraction is the collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, you can't miss it! I think it's a very special collection. The store is huge and has a lot of variety, from scarves to lamps to the typical post card. The restaurant is very nice as well, I had a rice curry soup which was delicious.
They host special events like art classes, wine tastings and outdoor movie showings. It might be fun to check those out, you can check their schedule for the year on their website.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank ValerieSolanas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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