Howard Pyle Studio
For twenty-seven years (1883-1911), Howard Pyle, the father of the Brandywine tradition of art painted, wrote, and taught in the studio that he had built at 1305 N. Franklin Street in Wilmington, Delaware. The studio was a free adaptation of a Tudor cottage built in the style of the Georgian Revival. He asked that the interior be the “color of telegraph poles” conducive to the dark interior of the Victorian age. There were skylights to the north and south (now only the northern ones remain, the most constant light desired by artists). Fireplaces provided heat; initially there was no electricity. Details of late 19th century architecture remain: wrought iron hinges, bulls-eye windows, Dutch doors.
By 1900 Pyle built two adjoining studios for students joining the Howard Pyle School of Art. There was no tuition; students paid for rent and art materials which their teacher sold at cost. The first year twelve out of 500 applications were accepted.
After Pyle's death in 1911, the three studios on Franklin Street in Wilmington, Delaware were sold to Pyle students Stanley Arthurs and Clifford Ashley. In the Master's studio new flooring was laid and included a cross section of a buttonwood tree to mark where Pyle stood as he taught. Moroccan chest fronts seen at ceiling level were added. These unique features can be seen in the studio today.
In 1950, upon Arthurs' death, the studios were purchased by Ellen Wheelwright for the benefit and use of the Studio Group, a group of women painters of which she was a member. In 1964, The Studio Group bought the properties from Ellen Wheelwright's estate. Studio One is named in honor of one of the founders, Eugenia Rhoads. Studio Two is named for its benefactor and former member, Helen Farr Sloan. Helen was the wife of John Sloan, one of the leading members of a group of artists known internationally as The Eight.
Since 1978 the properties have been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The studios are open to the public during exhibits and for tours by appointment.
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