DelArt Exhibition Captures the Spirit of the Jazz Age

The Delaware Art Museum Showcases Collection of Early 20th Century Illustrations

The Delaware Art Museum presents “Jazz Age Illustration,” opening on Saturday, October 5, 2024, and running through Sunday, January 26, 2025. This much-anticipated original exhibition kicks off DelArt’s “Year of the Illustrator.”

“Jazz Age Illustration” is the first major exhibition to survey the art of popular illustration in the United States between 1919 and 1942, drawing from DelArt’s extraordinary illustration collection and showcasing loans from museums, libraries and private collectors. Featuring more than 120 works of art by prominent illustrators, “Jazz Age Illustration” examines the new mass visual culture that emerged after the end of the First World War—a period characterized by cultural vibrancy and dramatic social change.

“Jazz Age Illustration” tells a story of popular culture and the press that reflects the energy and diversity of this iconic era. Illustrators recorded the rise of jazz musicians, flappers and film stars. It was the age of the Harlem Renaissance with magazines and newspapers dedicated to African American audiences featuring extraordinary artists like Aaron Douglas and Loïs Mailou Jones. Howard Pyle’s students Frank Schoonover and N. C. Wyeth were reaching the pinnacle of their careers during this era, and women artists were forging successful careers as illustrators. The exhibition includes original paintings and drawings that appeared in “Vogue,” “Vanity Fair” and “The Saturday Evening Post,” and in books by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Alain Locke.

DelArt’s Curator of American Art, Heather Campbell Coyle shares, “We welcome audiences to visit this extraordinary exhibition and explore the images that defined the Jazz Age. In this period before photography dominated popular media, illustration captured the attitudes and shaped the aspirations of Americans. Illustrated magazines reached millions of Americans each month. Today they provide amazing glimpses into Jazz Age style and culture. And there’s something for every taste, from Norman Rockwell’s realism to Art Deco design.”

DelArt’s Year of the Illustrator

Executive Director Molly Giordano says, “The Museum’s ‘Year of the Illustrator’ kicks off with ‘Jazz Age Illustration,’ and it’s a unique opportunity to showcase how illustration reflects and shapes the spirit of an era.” The exhibition celebrates changing fashions, exciting nightlife and African American culture during the Jazz Age.

Following “Jazz Age Illustration,” DelArt’s Year of the Illustrator continues with “Imprinted: Illustrating Race,” traveling from the Norman Rockwell Museum to DelArt in Fall 2025.

For more information on the exhibition, visit our website.

This exhibition is made possible through support from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Richard C. Von Hess Foundation, the Rock Oak Foundation, in memory of Thomas Brokaw, the Roger and Sarah Bancroft Clark Foundation, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the Hallie Tybout Exhibition Fund, and the Thronson Foundation Illustration Exhibition Fund. This exhibition is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside of the United Kingdom, and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.


WHAT: “Jazz Age Illustration” Exhibition
WHEN: Saturday, October 5, 2024, and running through Sunday, January 26, 2025
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: $25, free for DelArt Members

Image: Etta Moten Barnett Dancing (detail), c. 1940, for American Negro Exposition, 1940. Jay Jackson (1905–1954). Watercolor, ink, and charcoal on paper, sheet: 12 5/8 × 9 5/8 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Acquisition Fund, 2022. © Estate of Jay Paul Jackson.