This fall, the Delaware Art Museum (DelArt) will host the first retrospective exhibition of the work of Pre-Raphaelite painter Evelyn Pickering De Morgan (1855-1919) and her husband, the stained glass and pottery designer William Frend De Morgan (1839-1917). Making its American debut at DelArt, the exhibition tells the story of this extraordinary creative couple, who engaged with the artistic and social movements of their day. Over 75 works introduce visitors to William’s shimmering, lustreware ceramics and Evelyn’s richly symbolic paintings, inspired by her deep engagement with Italian Renaissance art.
At DelArt, the exhibition will be accompanied by lectures during opening and closing weekends by Sarah Hardy, Curator of the De Morgan Foundation, and Dr. Margaretta Frederick, Curator Emerita at the Delaware Art Museum. Guided tours of the exhibition will be offered weekly on Saturdays at 1 p.m. On view concurrently, “The Forgotten Pre-Raphaelites" will explore work of lesser-known artists associated with the Pre-Raphaelite circle. A new Pre-Raphaelite art history course, with virtual and in-person options, will contextualize the era in which the De Morgans worked and highlight DelArt’s Bancroft collection, the largest Pre-Raphaelite holdings outside of the United Kingdom. “A Marriage of Arts & Crafts” sets the stage for another highly anticipated Pre-Raphaelite exhibition in Fall 2023: “The Rossettis,” organized in partnership with Tate Britain.
Five years in the making, “A Marriage of Arts & Crafts: Evelyn & William De Morgan” is drawn from the collection of the De Morgan Foundation and is co-curated by Sarah Hardy, Curator, De Morgan Collection and Dr. Margaretta Frederick, Curator Emerita, Delaware Art Museum. Over 75 paintings, drawings and pots by this artist couple will be featured. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the University of Delaware Library has also generously lent books and archival material for a special display within the exhibition highlighting William's extraordinary transition from potter to successful novelist. The exhibition will subsequently travel to two further venues: the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA (September 2023-January 2024) and the Museum of Fine Arts St Petersburg, FL (January 2024 – May 2024). A publication of essays will accompany the exhibition: Margaretta S. Frederick, ed. “Evelyn & William De Morgan: A Marriage of Arts & Crafts” (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022). Copies of the catalog will be available at the Delaware Art Museum Store this fall.