MAL Celebrates Artists Howard Pyle

Photo taken by April Abel.

On Friday, September 7 the Mispillion Art League, located in downtown Milford, will be hosting a reception for their September Show “Here’s To Howard Pyle”. A tribute to the 19th Century American illustrator and author Howard Pyle, the September show features works of art created by local and statewide artists that were inspired by Pyle’s unique style.

Pyle was the inspiration for the founding of the Delaware Art Museum in 1912 as the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts.  A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Pyle is one of America’s most popular illustrators, artists and writers. The Delaware Art Museum has a remarkable collection of his works and personal papers in their collection.

“He has a very unique style using strong colors and made use of every inch of the canvas,” commented Sharon Hepford, President of the Mispillion Art League. “He broke a lot of rules that us artists usually follow today and had a particular attention to detail.”

Howard Pyle’s artwork was recently highlighted in the town of Milford as a reproduction his famous work ‘The Mermaid’ was hung on the Good News Food building across from the Riverfront Theatre. The work of art illustrates a shipwrecked man being rescued from an angry sea by a mermaid as the moon rises in the background. The original of Pyle’s The Mermaid was given to the Delaware Art Museum in 1940 as a gift of the children of Howard Pyle in memory of their mother, Anne Poole Pyle.The Mermaid was found unfinished on his easel in his studio when he set off for Florence, Italy to study mural painting.  Pyle died while he was there, due to a sudden kidney infection, and his full intentions for the piece were never realized.

The artwork that was hung in Milford is part of the Delaware Art Museum’s surprise pop-up art campaign titled Art Is Everywhere that highlights the museum’s year-long Centennial Celebration. “Pop-up” art is an outdoor museum exhibition that uses main streets and landmark outdoor spaces as its gallery space. Realistic reproductions of works of art are printed to scale, framed, and then installed in pedestrian-friendly outdoor locations including parks, the sides of public or private buildings and other locations where people gather.

According to Molly Keresztury, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations at the Delaware Art Museum, Milford was a spot that was chosen because of the “growing art scene that is becoming apparent to the rest of the state.” The Mispillion Art League has been one of the most active partners in our Centennial Celebration and the September Show celebrating Pyle’s various styles highlights the Mispillion Art League’s commitment to Delaware’s art heritage.

“We really do have some very talented artists from Milford and across the state that are featured in the current gallery,” commented Hepford. “All of the artwork in this gallery are originals that were inspired by the genre and style of Howard Pyle.

The Here’s To Howard Pyle reception will begin Friday, September 7, 5 to 8pm at the downtown Mispillion Art League located at 5 North Walnut Street in Milford. For further information on the reception or the gallery at the Mispillion Art League visit or call 302-430-7646.