There are some who may have not heard the name Howard Pyle even though he was one of the most influential artists in America. His paintings were the inspiration for the costumes in Pirates of the Caribbean and his most famous student N.C. Wyeth would become world renown for his illustrations of Treasure Island . N.C. son Andrew Wyeth would become one of the most famous American painters of the 20th century and N.C.’ grandson James Wyeth would continue the Pyle legacy to this day. Several of Pyle’s other students, Frank Schoonover and Harvey Dunn would also become renowned illustrators and teachers. More on Schoonover in the next post!
Last week, I had the opportunity to tour Pyle’s studio as well as the studios used by his students. Pyle taught for free but demanded hard work. He bought the property after the publication of Robin Hood, written and illustrated by him, and built a studio for himself and adjoining studios for his students. These studios are still being used as art studios today. After Pyle died in 1911, the studios were purchased by Stanley Arthurs and Clifford Ashley, both Pyle students. They made several changes during their ownership but the studio still looks much as it did when Pyle was alive.
The current owners, The Studio Group, began using the property when one of it’s members, Ellen Wheelwright, purchased the property for the groups use. The Studio group purchase the property in 1964 from the Wheelwright estate and has maintained the property ever since. The Howard Pyle studios is a treasure of American Art. It is possible to tour the studio today. If you are interested in touring the studio while in Wilmington I have included their contact information below.
Howard Pyle Studio
1305 N. Franklin Street