Delaware has turned the major cultural and historic sites in its capital city, Dover, into the First State Heritage Park. Among its close to 20 attractions are its Old State House, the site of the Golden Fleece Tavern, and the Biggs Museum of American Art. I blogged about the excellent Old State House and its replacement capitol in early July, 2013. It was in the Golden Fleece, which no longer exists, that 30 delegates reviewed and approved the Federal Constitution in 1787 to become the First State. Since 1993 the Biggs Museum has displayed Sewell C. Biggs impressive art and decor collection.
Free to the public, the Biggs at 406 Federal Street exhibits mostly-Delaware made arts and crafts. biggsmuseum.org states, ” The Museum’s eighteen galleries are arranged to emphasize the evolution of Mid-Atlantic fashion in the fine and decorative arts from the early 1700s to the present….” If this interests you, you’ll love the Biggs. I liked it. Four compass.
A lifelong collector, Sewell, born in 1914, got a law degree, studied architecture, bought antiques, refurbished Delaware farmhouses, dabbled in photography, etc. His carefully worded biography on the Museum’s website reveals nothing about his personal life. He died in 2003.
What you’ll see in the Biggs that is unique includes the works of Delaware illustrator Frank Schoonover who contributed to books and magazines during illustration’s Golden Age BTV (before TV). His depictions of pirates, Hopalong Cassidy, etc. grace the Bigg’s walls and are worth seeing. Jack Lewis, renowned Delaware painter, is featured. Some more familiar artists like Rembrandt and other Peales, Gilbert Stuart, etc. are on exhibit. The furniture shows the work of exceptional local craftsmen and craftswomen. Ruth was especially pleased to see the women silversmiths of Delaware display.
The AAA gives the Biggs a diamond. It deserves it.