Art represents the triumph over chaos, just as pulled-pork donuts represent the triumph over dignity. Expand your tastes with today's Groupon: for $50, you get a one-year Friend-level membership to the Delaware Art Museum (a $125 value).
Founded in 1912 to preserve the paintings and prints of Howard Pyle, the Delaware Art Museum boasts an impressive display of American illustration and, according to the Guardian, hosts “one of the finest Pre-Raphaelite collections outside Britain.” The Friend membership entitles two adults and their children or grandchildren under 18 to benefits, including free museum admission, two museum guest passes, discounted admission to 30 additional museums nationwide, and two free tickets to each exhibition’s members-only preview party. Current exhibits include Perception/Deception: Illusion in Contemporary Art, which examines 21st-century artists’ use of physics and light distortions to trick eyes into thinking their sculptures aren't secretly moving every time you look away.
The museum's classrooms and galleries sprawl over 80,000 square feet and three wings of a recently renovated 1938 building. After taking in its permanent collection—which includes the country’s largest repository of work by Ashcan School painter John Sloan—visitors can stroll through the museum’s lush Copeland Sculpture Garden or gift Tom Otterness’ Crying Giant a cheery circus pony. Museum members can enroll in drawing, painting, and other studio-art classes at a discounted rate through the museum’s well-known art-education program.
Delaware Art Museum
Howard Pyle's unexpected death in 1912 brought a group of artists, entrepreneurs, and businessmen together to grieve their friend. They couldn't let the artist's passion for teaching and illustration disappear as quickly as he had; so, they decided to form the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts with the sole purpose of preserving his legacy. They gathered funds from locals who felt just as strongly as they did—family members, friends, students, fans—and purchased approximately 100 pieces of his artwork.
Little did they know that, with these 100 pieces, they were starting something greater than a memorial for a good friend. The Wilmington Society of Fine Arts would, over time, add more and more artwork to its collection, growing into an 80,000-square-foot space and out of its original name. The Delaware Art Museum, as its called today, now counts more than 12,000 works of art as part of its collection. Permanent features showcase British pre-Raphaelites, the urban landscapes of John Sloan, modern American art, and, of course, Howard Pyle. The masterpieces don't stop when visitors venture outside—the Copeland Sculpture Garden adorns its lush natural scenery with nine works from the museum's permanent collection, along with a massive outdoor labyrinth.
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806