Calling all art lovers, aesthetes, and connoisseurs! A very special exhibition is coming to the Brandywine River Museum of Art this spring and summer. 

Not all art exhibitions are alike. The same goes for art museums, specifically, the Brandywine River Museum of Art. This Brandywine Valley museum is located just outside of Centreville, Delaware and minutes from Longwood Gardens! The Museum features American art housed in a remodeled mill with climactic glass and steel additions overlooking the gorgeous Brandywine River. It is a true intersection of art and nature. Once you get passed the beauty of the museum itself, you will find the amazing art it houses. Buckle your seatbelts for the museum’s latest exhibition with the opening of Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America. 

Learn More About the Brandywine River Museum of Art

Back in World War I & II the only artists featured in museums or mentioned with notoriety had all gone through some formal art training, whether it be an art institution or apprenticeship. Well, this exhibit, on view from May 28 – September 5, 2022, highlights over 20 self-taught painters of the early 1900s who broke that mold. Through their sheer love for creating art, they diversified the field across lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and ability. These artists changed the notion of who can be deemed an “artist” in the United States.  

Gatecrashers, also a novel by Katherine Jentleson, includes works by renowned painters such as Horace Pippin, Anna Mary Robertson, aka “Grandma” Moses, and John Kane, as well as lesser-known artists of their day, Morris Hirshfield, Josephine Joy, Lawrence Lebduska, Patrick Sullivan, and 17 others. These diversified artists brought a new perspective to galleries and museums of the era by connecting with the average person and exemplifying a more direct experience of American life. Being self-taught meant that they could change the narrative of Euro-American art to truly American art. These artists also worked full-time jobs from cabinetry to factories. They truly embodied what it was like to be a working-class American of the early 20th century and used this to help influence their artistic creations. A number of the artists featured were also immigrants. Their immigration status added another layer to the newly renowned American art by combining different cultures, artistic styles, and visions. It was a way for painters to establish national identity in their work.  

The story of Gatecrashers will be featured this May through the summer season at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Come and explore the origin of how self-taught painters succeeded within the mainstream art world. Their outspoken artistry set the stage for modern day informal artists and the role they play in today’s world of art. Learn more about the Museum here.  

Would you like to see Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America along with other top exhibitions in the Brandywine Valley like Jacqueline Kennedy and Henry Francis du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library at a discount?  You can with the 2022 Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport.  Starting at just $49 you can access 12 of the area’s top museums and gardens for one low price.  Learn more here.