Fantasy and the Medieval Past
For 150 years, Americans have been fascinated by the medieval past. Drawing from the work of contemporary illustrators Tony DiTerlizzi, Leo and Diane Dillon, and Ian Schoenherr, as well as historical works from the Museum’s Howard Pyle collection, this exhibition takes a look at the fantasy medieval realms of some of our beloved young adult reads. From magical creatures, castle complexes, and images of knighthood, prepare to be transported into re-imaginations of the medieval world that reflect contemporary America’s changing understanding of gender equality, cultural identity, disability, and difference.
King Arthur of Britain and decorated initial K with title and design, 1903. Illustration for "The Story of King Arthur and His Knights," by Howard Pyle, in St. Nicholas, January 1903. Howard Pyle (1853–1911). Ink and graphite on illustration board, composition: 9 1/8 × 6 3/16 inches, sheet: 11 11/16 × 9 1/16 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Gift of Anne Poole Pyle, 1920.
The Ironwood Tree, 2004. Cover illustration for The Ironwood Tree, The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 4, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Tony DiTerlizzi (born 1969). Acryla gouache on plate-finish Bristol board, 14 3/4 x 10 3/8 inches, frame: 23 7/8 x 19 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Spiderwick Chronicles © Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black.
Stories and Lies, 2012. Illustration for Bitterblue, Graceling Realm Book 3, by Kristin Cashore, (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012). Ian Schoenherr (born 1966). Ink on paper, composition: 8 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches, sheet: 9 3/4 x 12 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Ian Schoenherr.
Mansa Musa King of Mali, 2001. Cover illustration for Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali, by Khephra Burns, (Gulliver Books, 2001). Diane Dillon (born 1933) and Leo Dillon (1933–2012). Gouache on Bristol board, composition: 6 x 8 1/2 inches, sheet: 10 x 12 1/8 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Diane and Leo Dillon.
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Organizers & Sponsors
Fantasy and the Medieval Past was organized by the Delaware Art Museum and Emily Shartrand through the support of the University of Delaware’s Lynn Herrick Sharp Curatorial Fellowship. This exhibition is made possible by the Edgar A. Thronson Foundation Illustration Exhibition Fund. Additional support is 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 www.DelawareScene.com.
Books featuring artwork from Fantasy and the Medieval Past are available at the Delaware Art Museum Store and via Bookshop.