The Rossettis, Exhibition of Iconic Artist Family to Open in Delaware 

Delaware Art Museum Is the Only U.S. Location for Major Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition and Events 

The Delaware Art Museum presents “The Rossettis,” a major international loan exhibition organized in partnership with Tate Britain, opening on Saturday, October 21, 2023, and running through Sunday, January 28, 2024. The exhibition features the art of the Rossettis, an iconic artist family that includes Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, his wife, Elizabeth Siddal, and siblings, Christina, Maria, and William Michael Rossetti. Significant special programming, such as the Pre-Raphaelite Weekend and Pre-Raphaelite Promenade, have been developed in conjunction with this exhibition.

The Delaware Art Museum, which is home to the most comprehensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art outside of the United Kingdom, will be the only museum in the United States to host this exhibition after it closes in London on September 24.

DelArt’s collections of paintings by Dante Gabriel will be contextualized alongside the family’s works from international public and private collections, exceeding 150 objects. Delaware has added many works to the display that were not on view at Tate. These include paintings, drawings, watercolors, and writings by Dante Gabriel, drawings by Siddal, and poetry and prose by Christina, Maria, and William Michael. Highlights include a trio of portraits of Siddal, reunited for the first time since their making in 1854.

Sophie Lynford, Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Collection, explains the significance of bringing the three portraits together, “These drawings are records of the close friendships among women artists in the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Two were made by Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and Anna Mary Howitt. Dante Gabriel had asked the women to take Elizabeth on a trip that would lift her spirits. Partway through the women’s holiday, Dante Gabriel joined them. On May 8, 1854, Dante Gabriel, Barbara and Anna each made a portrait of Elizabeth, all from slightly different angles. These three drawings have never been displayed together since their making.”

The poets, writers, and painters of the prodigiously artistic Rossetti family blended their passion for social justice with their commitment to reforming outdated academic artistic traditions. Through this exhibition, visitors familiar with and new to the Pre-Raphaelites will experience fresh insights that address contemporary debates about romance, class, sex, and gender.

Executive Director Molly Giordano says, “Shortly after the Museum was founded, we were given an incredible gift: Samuel P. Bancroft, Jr.’s significant Pre-Raphaelite collection. Our holdings have since grown, and we’re home to critically important paintings and drawings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, as well as rare works on paper by Elizabeth Siddal. Partnering with Tate Britain, and its extraordinary collection, makes this exhibition an unprecedented opportunity for enthusiasts of the Pre-Raphaelite movement to see so many rare objects in one location, and enjoy immersive programming.”

Lynford adds, “While Bancroft acquired art by many Pre-Raphaelites, he was drawn most intensely to Rossetti and would be delighted that this show reunites works that haven’t been displayed together for over 150 years.”

DelArt’s presentation of “The Rossettis” will be further enhanced by a range of programs and special events throughout the exhibition’s run, including: the Pre-Raphaelite Weekend, a multi-day celebration of Pre-Raphaelite art; the Pre-Raphaelite Promenade, an enchanting gala set in the Victorian world; guided tours of the show; and, special gallery talks on key works in the exhibition.

For more information about the exhibition, visit our website.

This exhibition was organized by the Delaware Art Museum in partnership with Tate Britain and is made possible through support from the Nathan Clark Foundation, the Amy P. Goldman Foundation, the Delaware Art Museum Council, and the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation. This organization is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and 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: “The Rossettis”
WHEN: October 21, 2023 through January 28, 2024
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: $25; free for DelArt Plus members

WHAT: Guided Special Exhibition Tours
WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays, October 21, 2023 through January 28, 2024, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free with exhibition admission; registration encouraged

WHAT: Gallery Talks with Visiting Researcher Nicholas Dunn-McAfee
WHEN: Thursdays, November 2 and 30, 5 p.m.; Friday, November 17, 12 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free for select DelArt Plus members or with exhibition admission

WHAT: Pre-Raphaelite Weekend
WHEN: Thursday, November 9 through Sunday, November 12, 2023
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: $250

WHAT: Pre-Raphaelite Promenade
WHEN: Saturday, November 11, 2023, 7–10 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: $150

Top: La Ghirlandata (detail), 1873, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Oil on canvas. Guildhall Art Gallery. Photo credit: City of London Corporation.