The donated artwork includes pieces by three generations of the Wyeth family, Frank Schoonover and Edward Loper, among others
Additional artwork will be donated for sale to the public to benefit United Way of Delaware.
Terms of the donations will not be disclosed.
There had been worries that the artwork would be sold on the open market. DuPont recently sold the hotel to Buccini/Pollin Group and is preparing for a merger with Dow and a subsequent split into three companies.
“DuPont is pleased to make this significant gift to the Wilmington community,” said Richard C. Olson, senior vice president, DuPont Corporate Services.
“These outstanding museums will ensure the care and conservation of important works from our collection so that the public can enjoy them for generations to come. Our gift to United Way of Delaware continues a partnership that spans more than 70 years and will help support programs that benefit more than 100,000 Delawareans each year.”
DuPont began to collect art for the Hotel du Pont in the 1940s. Among the works donated to the museums are: N.C. Wyeth’s Island Funeral, Andrew Wyeth’s The Big Chimney, and Jamie Wyeth’s White House. The museums worked together on donations of paintings relevant to their collections.
“The work of the Wyeth family of artists is an important part of the collection of American art we present, and we are delighted with this gift,” said Thomas Padon, director of the Brandywine River Museum of Art. “N. C. Wyeth’s Island Funeral is without a doubt one of the artist’s masterpieces – painted in his studio that is now a National Historic Landmark and part of the Brandywine Museum. We’re deeply grateful to DuPont for this remarkable donation, which is emblematic of DuPont’s decades-long commitment to the rich artistic heritage of the area.”
“We are thrilled to receive this donation of works from the Hotel du Pont; these works add to our strength in representing the artists of Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, including Edward Loper, Frank Schoonover, and members of the Wyeth family,” said Delaware Art Museum Executive Director and CEO Sam Sweet. “The Delaware Art Museum is pleased to assist in keeping these works within the community where they’ve been enjoyed for generations.”
Some pieces will ultimately be part of the permanent collection galleries, while others will play a role in upcoming exhibitions, such as the Spring 2018 exhibition of nature studies by Andrew Wyeth and John Ruskin.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to display artwork from DuPont at Hagley and share this piece of the company’s history with our visitors,” said Hagley Museum and Library Executive Director David Cole. “As the birthplace of DuPont, the presence of this artwork at the museum will continue the strong connection between Hagley and the company.”
DuPont also will donate approximately 400 pieces of art to United Way of Delaware for a sale to benefit their work in the state. The artwork includes oil paintings, water colors, and prints that were previously displayed at various DuPont sites.
“We’re thrilled and humbled that DuPont is sharing some of its art collection with United Way of Delaware, and we’re excited to be offering these works for sale,” said United Way of Delaware President and Chief Executive Officer Michelle Taylor. “This gesture will keep the artwork in the community and generate funds that will change the trajectory for children and others in Delaware. We will be announcing the details of the sale shortly, and I look forward to a wonderful event.”
The Brandywine River Museum of Art is located in Chadds Ford
The Delaware Art Museum is best known for its large collection of works by Wilmington native Howard Pyle and fellow American illustrators, a major collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art, urban landscapes by John Sloan and his circle, and a survey of American art from early 19th century through the present.
Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E.I. du Pont in 1802. The site includes restored mills, a workers’ community, and the ancestral home and gardens of the du Pont family.