The Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington is currently hosting a fine collection of 60 Victorian paintings from the Royal Holloway Collection at the University of London. The exhibition will continue through April 12.
The paintings include rural genre, animal painting, marines, landscapes, and historical scenes, like the The Babylonian Marriage Market, 1875, by Edwin Longsden Long (1829-1891). Many of the paintings are driven by storytelling and an awareness of the social conditions of Victorian Britain.
When we visited the exhibit, museum goers were electrified by the narrative aspect of the paintings to the extent that spontaneous conversations sprung up between delighted strangers. The Railway Station by William Powell Frith (1819-1909), above, is so full of as many intriguing subplots as a novel by Dickens. I never appreciated this painting from small reproductions. Bring your kids; they will love the stories.
The April issue of Fine Art Connoisseur has a feature article on the collection written by Tim Barringer.
The exhibit will tour extensively through the USA:
The Yale Center for British Art, May 7 - July 26, 2009.
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, August 15 - October 25, 2009.
Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach FL, March 12 - April 18, 2010.
Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, Palo Alto, CA, May 19 - July 25, 2010.
Fresno Metropolitan Museum, CA, November 20, 2010- January 30, 2011.
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, February 18 - May 1, 2010.
Charley Parker of the blog "Lines and Colors" also covered the show: link.