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50th Anniversary Memories

50th Anniversary Memories

50th anniversary milestones timeline on display in the lobby of the Museum.
50th anniversary milestones timeline on display in the lobby of the Museum.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we do so with sincere gratitude to all of those who have worked with us and shared our vision, building on the principles of our founders to preserve the natural, cultural heritage of our region.

Please share a memory of the Brandywine from the last 50 years. You can send write a short message or upload a photo in the form below. Some entries may be shared throughout the year on our website and social media.


 

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    1971 – Brandywine River Museum opens to the public. More than 170,000 people visit the inaugural exhibition, The Brandywine Heritage.

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    1974 – “Art and Nature” school tours begin.
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    1981 – Museum’s 10th anniversary is celebrated with the opening of the Andrew Wyeth Gallery. Total number of visitors, from all 50 states and 80 countries, reaches nearly two million.

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    1986 –  Museum volunteers publish For the Pot: Recipes from the Brandywine River Museum. 

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    1990 – Young Friends of the Brandywine, a new generation of members, volunteers and patrons, is formed.

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    2003 – Conservancy and local preservation groups successfully defeat the Cornog Quarry Project, a plan to divert large amounts of water from the Brandywine Creek.

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    2004 – Second addition to the Museum building is completed; 5 millionth visitor is welcomed to the Museum.

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    2009 – Andrew Wyeth dies on January 16. More than 6,000 people visit the Museum in a weekend for a memorial exhibition featuring Christina’s World.

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    2010 – Planning begins for the Brandywine Creek Greenway.

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    2016 – First Bike the Brandywine is held.

As we look back, we remember significant events and issues that built the institution. We recognize and thank all the people—landowners, trustees, volunteers, staff, members, visitors—who have played a role in helping us what we are today a nationally recognized organization and we invite you to share your memories with us via the form below.

In the spring of 1967, George A. “Frolic” Weymouth, William Prickett, Jr., Esq. and F.I. du Pont, along with a dedicated group of supporters, purchased at auction Potts Meadow, 40 acres of floodplain meadows threated by industrial development. They founded the Tri-County Conservancy of the Brandywine to protect the watershed and endangered natural and historic resources in the region. Later that same year, they purchased Hoffman’s Mill and approximately nine acres of adjacent land. Betsy Wyeth told Frolic that if the Conservancy converted the mill into a museum celebrating regional art, she and Andrew Wyeth would put their art into it. Thus the two programs of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art were born; although the Museum opened in 1971, it was planned from the start.

As we look ahead, we do so with gratefulness to those who have been part of our successes. We have a strong foundation on which to build our next fifty years. We hope you will continue to support us.