Art Watch: Celebrating American masters

Editor’s Note: Our regular Art Watch columnist, Lele Galer, is getting a well deserved week off. Filling in is Vickie Manning, owner of Somerville Manning Gallery in Greenville, DE.

By Vickie Manning, Special to the Times

Angered Dandelions (Pissed Dandelions) by Jamie Wyeth, as seen at Somerville Manning Gallery.

Somerville Manning Gallery is currently featuring two exhibitions at their location in Breck’s Mill in Wilmington Delaware. American Masters: Art of the 19th–20th Centuries and Protected Land: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Brandywine Conservancy and the land that they preserve. Both exhibitions will be on view from April 11 – May 27, 2017

For almost thirty-five years, Somerville Manning Gallery has specialized in paintings by the Wyeth family. Their exhibition, American Masters, continues to juxtapose the artworks of N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth with the artists of their respective eras. Returning to a theme so successfully received, the gallery’s exhibition runs concurrent with the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s exhibition, From Homer to Hopper: Experiment and Ingenuity on American Art. Both shows feature original paintings by a similar list of artists, which explores over 100 years of Masters in the American art world. 

Gloucester by Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924), at Somerville Manning Gallery.

Along with paintings by N.C. Wyeth Somerville Manning Gallery features works by American impressionists, Maurice Prendergast, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, John Henry Twachtman and J. Alden Weir. A highlight of the exhibition is a stunning portrait by renowned Philadelphia painter, Thomas Eakins. Acclaimed artists, John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer are on view along with a major work by American Modernist Jacob Lawrence. Paintings by the father of abstract expressionism, Hans Hofmann, coincide with the Post-War period in which Andrew Wyeth was exploring realism. Contemporary pieces by Jim Dine, Wolf Kahn, and Jamie Wyeth round out the 21st century. The exhibition includes other works from many important American schools and traditions that run the gambit from realism to abstraction. The exhibition will be on view from April 11 – May 27, 2017

During this exhibition, we are also excited to announce that Somerville Manning Gallery will sponsor events at the Brandywine River Museum of Art to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Brandywine Conservancy. To honor the amazing work that is done by the Conservancy the gallery hangs paintings in the back gallery to showcase the stunning preserved landscape of the Brandywine Valley. The exhibition, Protected Land, was initiated by a quote from George A. “Frolic” Weymouth, Founder of the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art; “Our aim was always to preserve the land that inspired so many artists.”

The Somerville Manning Gallery

The exhibitions in the gallery are accentuated by the gallery’s location in the historic Brecks Mill on a Brandywine River waterfall next to Hagley Museum. Vickie Manning started Somerville Manning Gallery over 35 years ago in 1981. Her goal was to showcase the great art from here as well as bring art of national prominence to the area. Somerville Manning Gallery specializes in original fine art from the Wyeth Family, the Howard Pyle School of Illustration, and American contemporary painters and sculptors including many artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Vickie Manning’s vision was to feature great American art from the 20th and 21st century in a beautiful setting indicative of the area and it’s history.

Future shows include Andrew Wyeth, June 5-July 29; Under the Influence, five contemporary artists and work by the Masters that inspired them, September 15-October 6; Jon Redmond, October 13-November 11; Greg and Jon Mort, November 17- December 23.

Vickie Manning, owner of Somerville Manning Gallery and an expert on Andrew Wyeth and Tom Padon, director of the Brandywine River Museum of Art will be guests of Lele Galer’s show on Living History Art Listen to radio WCHE 1520 AM June 7 1-1:30 to discuss the Andrew Wyeth cross over exhibits.

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