Delaware Art Museum Honors Distinguished Artist e. jean lanyon

Exhibition Series Celebrates Contemporary Artists’ Impact in Greater Brandywine Valley

The Delaware Art Museum celebrates the career of e. jean lanyon with a Distinguished Artist exhibition, “e. jean lanyon: The Magic Language.” The exhibition includes nearly 70 objects attributed to the Delaware artist, dating from the 1950s through 2021. Each illustration, painting, print, book, and more, utilizes that essential element of art—the line—to deftly convey a story. The celebration kicks off with an exhibition opening and poetry reading on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 1 p.m. and the exhibition will remain on view in the Ammon Galleries at the Delaware Art Museum through Sunday, August 7, 2022. Both the opening and the exhibition are included with Museum admission.

lanyon is well known for her work as a visual artist and poet, and she has woven these two creative impulses together throughout her life. She has deep ties to the visual and literary arts in Delaware and has committed to sharing her knowledge with students. Her legacy is rooted in the artistic communities of Delaware and surrounding states.

“e. jean is in, and of, the literary and visual arts community,” says Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art. “She was part of that avant garde movement both in Wilmington and Newark that took off in the 1970s, and throughout her career, has explored poetry and art simultaneously, weaving them together.”

Two topics are often the focus of lanyon’s written works and illustrations—nature and the human experience.

“As a city child, small expeditions into parks of countryside were wonderful experiences,” lanyon says. “Even then I wanted so much to bring my visual adventures to life on paper or canvas for others to see and somehow share.”

Educated at Goddard College and Chouinard Art Institute, lanyon went on to be appointed Poet Laureate of the State of Delaware in 1979. In her 22 years serving in this role, she worked to encourage the broad appreciation of poetry across the state. The Biggs Museum of American Art presented the retrospective, “As the Poet Paints,” in 2012, broadly surveying her published works and plein air watercolors.

Winslow adds, “e. jean has a love for the Museum and our collections. As a young person, seeing the work of Howard Pyle was very influential and she would make study drawings from our Bancroft Pre-Raphaelite collection. She wanted to be an illustrator, and, of course, to be an artist, and studying illustrators such as Pyle proved influential on her dual paths in the literary and visual arts.”

The Distinguished Artist Series is a celebration of those artists who have impacted contemporary art in the greater Brandywine Valley through their artistic practices, teaching, and support of the community and its various institutions. Through unique exhibitions, this series surveys artists’ legacies as they relate to local, national, and international trends.

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“e. jean lanyon: The Magic Language” was organized by the Delaware Art Museum. This exhibition is made possible by the Edgar A. Thronson Foundation Illustration Exhibition Fund. Additional support was provided, 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


WHAT: e. jean lanyon: The Magic Language
WHEN: April 9 – August 7, 2022
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Included with Admission

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 to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

Image: Cover (detail), 1972, for Viewpoint 2, no. 2 (November 1972). e. jean lanyon (born 1935). Ink on paper, composition: 13 3/4 × 9 7/8 inches, sheet: 16 × 11 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © e. jean lanyon.