Admission included a tour of the galleries. During the tour we learned how N.C. got his start in art by studying illustration under Howard Pyle along the banks of the Brandywine River and that his first major work was for publishing house Charles Scribner's Sons... a series of illustrations for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Many of these are in the museum and each eloquently conveys the basic story of a specific chapter of the book. He did further books but went on to earn fame as a muralist and realist.
The museum is housed in a dramatic steel and glass structure that is surrounded by some lovely older stone buildings. No photos were allowed in the museum. We also got to visit the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio.
We had lunch at a local restaurant called Hank’s Place, Mushroom Strudel for Pat and Calves Liver, Onions and Bacon for Bill. Later Pat learned that nearby Kennett Square Chadd’s Ford is the Mushroom Capital of the World….producing over a million pounds of mushrooms a week.
Monday we visited the Hagley Museum and Library. The “Museum” includes a guided tour of the former DuPont black powder works (founded by Éleuthère Irénée du Pont in 1802) and the original family mansion and garden. The adjacent barn showcases old cars, carriages and a conestoga wagon. There was also a tour of one of the black powder production buildings with a demonstration (boom) and the impressive machine shop. All very interesting.
|Black Powder Delivery Wagon (above) / Demonstration (below)|
After lunch we went to Kennett Square to checkout the shops. There were a few interesting ones but it is a small town.
Tuesday was a busy day. First we went to Nemours, home of Alfred I. du Pont, for a Mansion tour which includes free-time to explore the gardens. Nemours has a “family home” feel even with all the rooms, extensive grounds, and gold leaf.
|The Nemours Visitor Center had a fantastic time line spanning the 200+ of duPonts in America|
|View of the mansion from the Versailles-like gardens|
|They liked the 1924 Caddy so much they had it adapted by Cadillac to a 1934 chassis|
|A room for show|
|A room to live in|
|The special Tiffany exhibit included pointers on spotting Tiffany forgeries|
Our last day in the area was spent at Longwood Gardens, exploring the grounds and conservatory. We went to lunch in nearby Kennett Square, the world mushroom capital. The Half Moon restaurant featured wild game, we had an Elk, Boar and Kangaroo sampler with Caesar salad, waffle fries and, ta da, mushrooms.
|A group of fountains in the Italian Garden|
|There is also an impressive pipe organ...the pipes are viewable through huge glass windows behind the organ|
|This is the second night bloom of a huge waterlily that appears to have|
a pure white bloom on it's first night of bloom.
|Lights displayed palms|
|Lights displayed on large topiary|