Andrew Stwart, Director of Marketing for the The Brandywine River Museum of Art and Brandywine Conservancy discussed the reopening of the museum after severe flooding from Hurricane Ida. We discussed the history of the Chadds Ford properties, the founding of the conservancy by concerned neighbors in 1969 when industrial development threatened the area, not just its plants and wildlife, but also the water table that provides drinking water for the city of Wilmington. Today, the Conservancy holds more than 483 conservation easements and has protected more than 64,500 acres from development in Chester and Delaware counties, Pennsylvania, and in New Castle County, Delaware. It’s a natural home for native plants and birds and shellfish. Open to members for hiking and outdoor enjoyment, it works with local governments and agencies to permanently protect and conserve natural, cultural and scenic resources.
The museum was founded in 1971 through a gift of NC Wyeth paintings by Betsy Wyeth. Today the Brandywine River Museum of Art features the art of the Brandywine region, American illustration, still life and landscape painting, and the work of the Wyeth family, with works of NC, Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, as well as Horace Pippen – another local artist – and Howard Pyle, Gilbert Stuart, Benjamin West, and many more. In addition to the galleries, the museum owns and shows the studios of NC and Andrew Wyeth and delivers special programs and children’s offerings, now available online.
He discussed the devasting flooding that damaged the classrooms and offices of the museum and forced the closure of the museum for many weeks. The museum is now open, intime for its annual Christmas and holiday programs, including its enormous toy train, now on display. For hours, directions, educational programming and Conservancy/Museum membership information go to brandywine.org.