Discover an outstanding collection of American art housed in a nineteenth-century mill with a dramatic steel and glass addition overlooking the banks of the Brandywine River. Renowned for its holdings of the Wyeth family of artists, the museum features galleries dedicated to the work of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The Brandywine Conservancy has been instrumental in permanently protecting more than 59,000 acres of land in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware.
In the mid-1960s, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania in the historic Brandywine
Valley, faced possible massive industrial development. The impact
would have dramatically changed the character and future of a community
that was then largely rural. At the same time, and for decades
thereafter, development proposed throughout the region, particularly in
floodplain areas, threatened to devastate water supplies for numerous
communities in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware,
including the City of Wilmington.
Appreciating the need for rapid action, a group of local residents
bought endangered land and founded the Brandywine Conservancy in 1967.
The first conservation easements, protecting more than five and
one-half miles along the Brandywine, were granted in 1969. Today, the
Conservancy holds more than 440 conservation easements and has
protected more than 45,000 acres in Chester and Delaware counties, Pennsylvania, and in New Castle County, Delaware.
The Conservancy is a leading local and national advocate for
responsible land use, open space preservation and water protection.
The Conservancy focuses on integrating conservation with economic
development through its Land Stewardship and Municipal Assistance
programs. The Conservancy works with individuals; state, county and
municipal governments; and private organizations to permanently protect
and conserve natural, cultural and scenic resources.
Among the hundreds of artists represented are Howard Pyle, many
students of Pyle who affected the course of American illustration, N.
C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth. There is work by hundreds of
famous illustrators. Landscape, still life, portrait and genre
painting includes work by Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Asher Durand,
W. T. Richards, William Harnett, John Haberle, J. D. Chalfant, Horace
Pippin, and many others, while the major still life collection includes
paintings by William Harnett, John Peto, George Cope, John Haberle,
Horace Pippin, and many more artists. Nearly 300 special exhibitions
have been shown in the museum’s six galleries, along with constant
installations of work from the collection. A variety of educational programs is offered throughout the year.
The Brandywine Conservancy has thousands of members throughout the
region and the nation, including a Young Friends group that hosts
events throughout the year. More than 300 volunteers work as docents
in the museum, as gardeners in the native plant gardens that surround
the Conservancy’s buildings, and in other capacities throughout the
Conservancy. Volunteers organize an annual antiques show and other
events to support an acquisition fund that has added more than 200
works of art to the museum’s collection.
In 2008, the Brandywine
Conservancy was one of the first conservation organizations awarded
accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The award is
an affirmation of careful management and effective environmental
programs. In the same year, the Brandywine River Museum received
accreditation from the American Association of Museums for the fourth
time. The Brandywine Conservancy has always maintained the highest
professional standards, a commitment to excellence, public
accountability, sound financial management, innovation, and growth of