The Magic Pencil of the Amazing F.O.C. Darley

January 19, 2013 - March 10, 2013
F.O.C. Darley (1822-1888). Pfalz Castle, on the Rhine (detail), 1866

F.O.C. Darley (1822-1888), detail of Pfalz Castle, on the Rhine, 1866, Collection Brandywine River Museum of Art, Museum Purchase, 2005.

More than 60 works by Felix Octavius Carr Darley, whose talent in book and magazine illustrations made him the most popular illustrator of his day, were on view in this exhibition. 

Darley (1822-1888) received praise for his "magic pencil," immortalizing the fictional characters created by the most famous authors of his day, including Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.  He was also renowned for his drawings and prints related to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and the American frontier.  This exhibition included works from the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s rich permanent collection, as well as loans from the Darley Society and several private collectors.  Among the objects were illustrations for Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Irving’s Life of George Washington, and Shakespeare’s As You Like It, as well as the artist’s sketch book from his European tour, banknote engravings, and numerous illustrated books.