Poetry in Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of Marie Spartali Stillman Exhibit at Delaware Art Museum (US)

Delaware Art Museum exhibit entry room

I will be attending the only U.S. museum exhibit for one of the most forgotten and possibly still unknown female artists of the nineteenth-century, Marie Spartali Stillman (1844–1927). Some museum exhibit details:  Poetry in Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of Marie Spartali Stillman runs from November 7,2015 - January 31,2016,Delaware Art Museum, located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is about two anda half hours outside of New York City by public transportation. Just to give you an idea of the location.  
 Marie Stillman (nee Spartali) by unknown photographer, snapshot print, circa 1921, NPG

Marie Spartali Stillman (1844–1927) was one of a small number of professional female artists working in the second half of the 19th century. She was an important presence in the Victorian art world of her time and closely affiliated with members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Poetry in Beauty, the first retrospective of Spartali Stillman’s work, will showcase approximately 50 works by the artist. Spartali Stillman’s style reflects her British Pre-Raphaelite training as well as the influence of Renaissance art, derived from the many years she lived and worked in Italy. Works from public and private collections in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, many of which have not been exhibited since Spartali Stillman’s lifetime, will also be on view.
 Marie Stillman (nee Spartali) by unknown photographer, snapshot print, undated, NPG

Poetry in Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of Marie Spartali Stillman is co-curated by Margaretta Frederick, Chief Curator and Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Delaware Art Museum’s Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, and Pre-Raphaelite scholar Jan Marsh. The Delaware Art Museum is the only United States venue for this landmark exhibition. It will travel, in reduced format, to the Watts Gallery, Compton, Guildford, England, where it will be on view March 1 – June 5, 2016. (Delaware Art Museum)


If you would like to learn about the life of Marie Spartali Stillman then I highly recommend the book above, 'A Pre-Raphaelite Marriage' by David B. Elliott.  Also, you can read one of my earlier articles, Marie Spartali Stillman


Kelmscott Manor: Feeding Doves in Kitchen Yard,1904. Marie Spartali Stillman (1844–1927). Watercolor and gouache on paper, 13 1/2 × 20 1/2 inches. Society of Antiquaries of London (Kelmscott Manor).

 The Pilgrim Folk, 1914. Marie Spartali Stillman (1844 1927). Watercolor and gouache on paper, 22 3/8 x 27 11/16 inches. Delaware Art Museum

 Love's Messenger, 1885. Marie Spartali Stillman (1844 1927). Watercolor, tempera, and gold paint on paper mounted on wood, 32 x 26 inches. Delaware Art Museum

 Beatrice, 1896. Marie Spartali Stillman (1844 1927). Watercolor and gouache on paper, 22 11/16 x 17 inches. Delaware Art Museum

 For a direct link to the exhibit itself, Delaware Art Museum

UPCOMING DELAWARE ART MUSEUM LECTURE:  I will be attending this event which strangely enough takes place on my birthday, January 21, 2016 and is Julia Margaret Cameron themed:  The Image of a Woman Artist: Julia Margaret Cameron’s Photographs of Marie Spartali Stillman, 6:30-7:30pm. 

In the 1860s, Marie Spartali Stillman was a popular model for Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other Pre-Raphaelite painters. When Spartali posed for photographer Julia Margaret Cameron in 1868, she was just beginning to receive public recognition as a painter in her own right. Joanne Lukitsh, Massachusetts College of Art and Design Professor of the History of Art, will examine Cameron’s photographs of Spartali as a young female artist of the Victorian period.

Portrait of Marie Spartali by Julia Margaret Cameron, Albumen Print, 1870, Swann Galleries, New York.


Laura Morrigan said…
Oh, what a wonderful exhibition to get to see! Maybe I will get to see some of hers one day! I have more hope now that we have had a Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition in Australia!
Kimberly Eve said…
Hi Laura,
I hope you got to see the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibit in Australia. I would love to hear all about it. You know, this exhibit will be at Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey, England, next March 2016. Hopefully, you can take a trip and visit the exhibit. Thank you so much for commenting :)
WoofWoof said…
Thanks for such an interesting piece plus the reference to your previous article. I am so glad that Stillman is getting her own exhibition and thanks for the information that it is transferring to the Watt gallery next year. I doubt if she has ever had an exhibition in the UK. Technically I think she was as good as Rossetti, Hunt, Millais and Waterhouse. She really deserves to be in the same league as them. Also I think she was quote often used as a model by Rossetti as well. In this respect I suppose she differs from most of the pre-raphaelite models who were mainly from a working class background, whereas Stillman was educated and quite wealthy.
Kimberly Eve said…
Hi WoofWoof,

I am really excited to see this exhibition. I'm so glad my links worked. I had such formatting trouble. I'm so happy this exhibit is coming to the Watts Gallery. It's such a beautiful space as well. Yes, I would put her up there along side Rossetti. Yes, she was one of the women in Rossetti's painting, Dantes Dream, 1871. The woman on the far right, the tall redhead standing up would be her! Also, she was the one woman in Rossetti's A Vision of Fiammetta, 1878.
Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.
WoofWoof said…
Hello Kimberly. Just to say that we went to see the exhibition at the Watt Gallery. It was wonderful to see the beautiful paintings - so skillfully rendered. I think she was as good as Millais and Waterhouse! It was my visit to the Watt Gallery - wonderful to see the original cast for the statue of Tennyson outside Lincoln Cathedral, and some of my favourite Watt paintings - I love the one called "Hope" if you know it. The Stillman exhibition was quite small, maybe 10-15 paintings in a single room, certainly doesn't look as big or impressive as your picture from Delaware. Thanks again for recommending it. I will certainly visit The Watt Gallery again and do the guided tour of his house. Yesterday evening, I was out with some friends - I was quite surprised that none of them had even heard of GF Watt.
Kimberly Eve said…
Hi WoofWoof,
I'm so happy you went to Watts Gallery to see the exhibit. How exciting. Thanks so much for telling me.