On September 1, the Brandywine River Museum of Art was hit hard by Hurricane Ida. Thankfully, despite the strong winds and high flood waters, the staff members are safe, and the Museum collections and galleries were not damaged. Unfortunately, many of the buildings on site were not as fortunate causing the museum to close.

As the holidays approach, good news prevails! The Brandywine River Museum of Art will open its doors once again November 26th. Just in time for the holiday season. They may not be able to celebrate the season like they wanted but, their iconic Brandywine Railroad and Critter ornaments will be displayed. 

Each year since 1971, these distinctive ornaments have been carefully handcrafted by a dedicated group of volunteers using only natural materials such as teasel, pinecones, acorns, eggshells, flowers and seed pods. All of the ornaments that had been made for this year’s upcoming sale—over 8,200 new creations—were destroyed by floodwaters, including many decades of Critter ornaments that have been highlights of the holiday display, some of which date back to the early 1980s. After this devastating loss, the Brandywine’s Critter volunteers rolled up their sleeves, fired up their glue guns and got back to work, quickly creating an amazing range of new ornaments in time for the annual holiday sale. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of staff, volunteers and others who donated their own Critter collections back to the Brandywine—including some ornaments that had graced the White House holiday display in 1984—the Museum’s holiday trees will still be decorated with Critters for visitors to enjoy. 

And the annual Critter Sale is on! This year, there will still be an in-person Critter Sale on Saturday, December 4th and Sunday, December 5th from 10am- 4pm at the Chadds Ford Historical Society. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Volunteers’ Art Purchase Fund, and Art Education and Programming. 

*Credit card sales only and masks are required to attend.  

The Chadds Ford Historical Society is located at: 1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317. 

Online Orders will also be accepted. Place orders by Wednesday, December 8, 2021 for holiday delivery! 

While the museum is reopening and they continue to repair the damage caused by the hurricane, please consider making a contribution to the Emergency Flood Relief fund to help the Brandywine get back on its feet. www.brandywine.org/give 

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