Fall highlights at Brandywine Valley gardens, museums, and historic sites

Brandywine Museums and Gardens Alliance (BMGA) sites invite visitors to enjoy a full slate of exhibits and activities indoors and out this fall Photo: Hagley Museum in the trees

Wilmington, DE, September 13, 2012 (Brandywine Museums and Gardens Alliance) – Foliage, art exhibits, family activities, and unique events create an awesome autumn in the Brandywine Valley. Highlights are below; visit BMGA member institutions’ websites for more details. 

The Brandywine River Museum presents Picturing Poe: Illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Stories and Poems, September 8–November 15.

This exhibition presents works from more than two dozen artists who have interpreted Poe’s stories and poems, including Poe’s earliest illustrator, F.O.C. Darley, who was chosen for the task by the author himself. After Poe’s 1849 death, an international cast including Édouard Manet, Gustave Doré, Paul Gauguin, James Ensor, Aubrey Beardsley, and others were inspired by Poe’s macabre writings. Original paintings, drawings, prints, and first-edition books are on display. Associated events include a wine-tasting, a performance by Hedgerow Theatre, and more; complete list here

A new program for the Museum, Music on the Brandywine, has its inaugural concert September 20, 7:30 p.m. The evening features soprano Kathryn Guthrie-Demos and pianist Andrew Hauze from Astral Artists, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to discover exceptionally talented emerging classically trained performers. Light refreshments provided; cash bar. Galleries open at 7 p.m. Tickets $15, members and students; $25, non-members. Click  here to purchase tickets.

The Festival of Goblins creeps into the Delaware Art Museum on Saturday, October 27, 4:30–7 p.m. Kids and their families will enjoy a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, making boo-tiful art, spooky stories performed by interactive storyteller and illustrator Jeff Hopkins, dancing to thrilling and chilling music, a costume parade, and much more! Children are invited to come in their most creative costume. Complimentary snacks and drinks included; additional food available for purchase. Ticket prices and additional information here

The Museum is celebrating 100 years of supporting the visual arts in its community. To commemorate past annual exhibitions of painting and crafts, Centennial Juried Exhibition will be on view October 20, 2012–January 13, 2013, featuring drawings, paintings, sculpture, photography, video, and installation art from artists living in Delaware or within 100 miles of the Museum.  

Guest-juried by John B. Ravenal, the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the show celebrates the tradition of juried exhibitions and identifies artistic trends that will characterize the region’s future. 

 Delaware Yesterday, DelawareToday, 1962-2012 celebrates the 50th anniversary of DelawareToday magazine with an exhibit from the Delaware Historical Society at the Delaware History Museum, open through March 30, 2013. Examine the past 50 years through Delaware Today’s coverage and the Delaware Historical Society’s collections. Whether your family has been here 200 years or you moved here recently, you’re sure to learn something that will help you understand how Delaware’s yesterdays shape the Delaware we know today.

On Thursday, September 27, mix a little history with the opportunity to visit Wilmington’s newest taproom, Ernest & Scott, at Think & Drink: Food & Beer Pairing. The evening, which starts at 6 p.m., includes a talk about the history of beer-making, a short walking tour along Market Street, five beer samples and five food samples. Must be 21. Reservations required; tickets $20. Register here or call 302-295-2382.

Join the DHS for a fascinating Wilmington & Brandywine Cemetery Tour, 701 Delaware Avenue in Wilmington, to learn about Civil War soldiers and notable civilians buried here. Saturday, October 13 and Saturday, October 27, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Reservations required; call 302-295-3284 or emailamaccari@dehistory.org. $5.00/member, $10/non-member.

The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts—where admission is always free!—has a wide variety of exhibits and events this fall. Don’t miss“The Real Woman of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Contest” through November 1. The mockumentary follows Philadelphia artist Jenny Drumgoole’s quest to meet Southern culinary star Paula Deen by participating in Kraft Foods’ 2010 online cooking contest and female-oriented marketing campaign, Real Women of Philadelphia. Drumgoole submitted videos about her unique dishes, including “Cognitive Developmental Special Cheese & Macaroni,” and she randomly contacted other contestants to send footage of themselves flipping their hair while brandishing packages of cream cheese to hilarious effect. The resulting film is hilarious, but also has a serious side as it questions our cultural obsession with celebrity.  

Go on a Rainforest Adventure at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, October 6, 2012–January 6, 2013. This multisensory experience with more than 40 interactive components introduces visitors to tropical rainforests, their unique ecology, and their challenges. Discover plant and animal life, become a scientist, climb through the canopy, and explore a gorilla nest.

Slither into the ooey, gooey world of bats, bugs, and other creepy crawlies at the Halloween event, Bug-a-Boo & Goo, Saturday, October 20, 2012. Specimen displays, games, crafts, activities, a pumpkin judging contest, and live animals from the Philadelphia Zoo highlight this hands-on event for the whole family.  

Rev it up at the Hagley Car Show on the grounds of Hagley Museum and Library, Sunday, September 16, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Check out more than 500 antique and restored cars that date from the early 1900s-1980s. The show features vehicle parades, motoring music, video and go-kart racing, and a festival food court. Click here to purchase tickets.

Every Saturday in October from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Brandywine Hayrides take visitors through the beautiful fall foliage in the Powder Yard. See a gunpowder explosion, the roll mill in action, and working 19th-century machines. Live music, local cider, and seasonal craft-making.  Included with admission.

The Museum has many other events this autumn, including a top-notchCraft Fair, the Golden Pheasants Seagram’s Tasting, and All-American Daywith a 19th-century baseball game. Click here for details. 

Get to Longwood Gardens to catch a last glimpse Light: Installations by Bruce Munro, closing September 29. Explore Munro’s installations set throughout the Conservatory and Gardens: a field of light reminiscent of flowers, a meadow of glowing towers, a shower of cascading raindrops fashioned from delicate bulbs. 

From October 27–November 18, the Chrysanthemum Festival will wow visitors with more than 20,000 plants grown in extraordinary ways, preserving an ancient art form while innovating technique and display. See tall cloud forms, 13-foot arches, ball standards, shields, and the largest Thousand Bloom Mum in North America with over 1,000 white flowers on one stem!

Longwood’s Garden Railway opens October 1, a whimsical display set into motion with G-scale model trains. The railway will delight all ages with custom trains chugging along 450 feet of charmingly landscaped track in and out of tunnels, past water features, and over bridges—including one that’s 17 feet long and 12 feet high. The littlest conductors will enjoy a special section installed at their eye level.

The gates of Mt. Cuba Center are opening wide! For four days this fall, visitors may wander the grounds of the region’s finest wildflower gardens on their own. No reservations are necessary for Visitor Days, September 28 and 29, October 26 and 27, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Enjoy Discovery Stations; visit the Piedmont Rock Outcrop on a guided excursion at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and help evaluate Heucheras and Coreopsis in our Trial Garden.

At the Main House, view “The Spirit of Art at Mt. Cuba Center,” an exhibition of paintings featuring scenic views of Mt. Cuba Center. Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for children 6-16, and free for children under 6 years old. Details available here or at 302-239-4244. Not wheelchair or stroller accessible.  

Tours are available at Nemours Mansion and Gardens in September and October. The mansion, built by Alfred I. duPont for his second wife, Alicia, was designed in the late-18th-century style she adored, while incorporating the latest technology and many of Alfred’s own inventions. The surrounding 222-acre gardens are the finest example of formal French gardens in North America.

Marvels of symmetry, they closely follow the mode of the Petit Trianon at Versailles. Reservations are highly recommended for individuals and required for groups. Tours last two and a half to three hours. Admission $15.00. For hours and reservations, call 302-651-6912 or toll-free, 1-800-651-6912, or reserve online here.

Go on an entertaining search for things that go bump in the night atRockwood Park and Museum on Ghost Tours I, every Saturday in October, 7-8:30 p.m. Tour the mansion, seeking your own paranormal experience, while guides relate tales documented by those who have lived and worked at Rockwood. Must be age 12 or older.

Ghost Tours II, for adults only, are held every Saturday in October from 9 p.m.-midnight. Session include instruction and hands-on use of paranormal investigative equipment as participants explore the mansion.
Register for all Ghost Tours I or II online here. Participants must be in good health and able to go up and down steps comfortably.

Interior design, history, and Winterthur come together at the 6th Annual Chic It Up! Design Conference, “It’s a Party!” at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library on Saturday, September 15. Get inspired by presentations on great parties of the 20th century, Southern style entertaining, the high life on ocean liners, and more. Call 800-448-3883 to register.

Bring the family for some “wheel” fun at Truck & Tractor Day, Saturday, October 6, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Celebrate the history of farming at Winterthurand the completion of the new state-of-the-art Brown Horticulture Learning Center, where guests and Garden experts can explore horticultural topics in depth. Explore tractors, farm vehicles, and fire trucks, do arts and crafts, take a hayride, and milk a mechanical cow! Food and drink available for purchase.
Get a glimpse into the world of Jane Austen, as seen through the eyes of Sandy Lerner, Austen expert and author of Second Impressions, the widely anticipated sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Information about book-signings and the Jane Austen Gift Show here.
Reaching and Teaching Through Material Culture:  A Winterthur Graduate Program 60th Anniversary Symposium September 28–29, 2012, is a symposium on material culture and art conservation, featuring experts from around the country. Includes tours of A Lasting Legacy, which highlights the accomplishments of six decades of graduate programming by Winterthur and the University of Delaware. Call 800-448-3883 to register. 

For more information, visit our website, and join us on on Facebook and Twitter. For high-resolution images, visit brandywinetreasures.picturepush.com.


The above information provided by the Brandywine Museums and Gardens Alliance and is deemed reliable.  Please confirm all information before traveling. 

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