September 24, 2007

Bancroft Pre-Raphaelite collection returns to Delaware

"The Return of the Pre-Raphaelites," Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE. On permanent display.

Christopher Yasiejko reports in the News Journal how the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, America’s largest collection of Pre-Raphs outside the UK, returned to the museum after a lengthy international tour. "The unmarked tractor-trailer arrived in secrecy in early August behind the Delaware Art Museum. It had carried its cargo, a collection of artwork with a high international profile, for two days from San Diego. Now it was home....A team of museum employees unloaded scores of wooden crates and moved them into the building. The transfer marked the end of an absence of more than five years for the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art....Today, nearly two months after that clandestine arrival, the museum, which has been closed for a two-year expansion and renovation project, officially opens to the public."Read more

In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Edward J. Sozanski puts the paintings in historical perspective. "It might be difficult to believe when confronted by dreamy portraits of idealized women, but the Pre-Raphaelites were considered rebels in their day. Seven artists and writers, led by the painter-poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, founded their "brotherhood" in 1848 to protest the teaching of Renaissance principles in England's art schools. They championed what they perceived to be the simpler, more honest ideals of the Middle Ages - the time before the Italian master Raphael, then considered the Renaissance beau ideal. Besides Rossetti, major painters associated with the movement included William Holman Hunt, Edward Burne-Jones, John Everett Millais, Ford Madox Brown, Charles Fairfax Murray, and Frederick Sandys." Read more

Related TCOP posts:
John Everett Millais at the Tate Britain