CHADDS FORD, PA.-
The Brandywine River Museum of Art is thrilled to announce it will reopen to the public on November 26, 2021, with the return of the Brandywine Railroad holiday train display and highlights from the permanent collection. The Brandywine has been temporarily closed to the public since September 1, 2021, after the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought historic flooding to Chadds Ford and across the Brandywines 15-acre campus. While all of the art in the galleries at the Brandywine River Museum of Art were safe and unharmed by the storm, the Museums lowest levelcontaining a lecture room, classroom, offices and morehad significant flood damage, in addition to 10 other buildings on the Brandywines campus.
Beginning November 26, the Museum will be open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed on Christmas day), with the Brandywines iconic O-gauge model train display on view through January 9, 2022. A holiday favorite since 1972, the Brandywine Railroad offers something for everyone with its dazzling array of both toy and scale model trains made by Lionel, Williams, Atlas, Mikes Train House, K-line and others. The display features trains running on 2,000 feet of track with more than 1,000 pieces, including locomotives, passenger and freight trains, and trolleys that pass through a small village, a farm, factories, and even a carnival and a drive-in movie theater. Interactive components are also incorporated into the display, operated by hands-free foot pedals that allow for further engagement.
Also returningalbeit in a limited capacity this yearwill be the Brandywines whimsical Critter ornaments decorating the holiday trees in the Museums atrium and also available to purchase during the annual Holiday Critter Sale. Each year since 1971, these distinctive ornaments have been carefully handcrafted by a dedicated group of volunteers using only natural materials such as teasel, pinecones, acorns, eggshells, flowers and seed pods. All of the ornaments that had been made for this years upcoming saleover 8,200 new creationswere destroyed by floodwaters, including many decades of Critter ornaments that have been highlights of the holiday display, some of which date back to the early 1980s. After this devastating loss, the Brandywines Critter volunteers rolled up their sleeves, fired up their glue guns and got back to work, quickly creating an amazing range of new ornaments in time for the annual holiday sale. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of staff, volunteers and others who donated their own Critter collections back to the Brandywineincluding some ornaments that had graced the White House holiday display in 1984the Museums holiday trees will still be decorated with Critters for visitors to enjoy.
This year's Holiday Critter Sale will be held offsite at the Chadds Ford Historical Society on December 4 & 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of "classic Critter" favorites along with fanciful new creations will be available during the sale. A smaller selection of Critter ornaments and houses are also available for purchase online and can be shipped across the country by visiting www.brandywine.org/critters.
The Brandywine has assembled a team of experts and skilled craftspeoplefrom structural and electrical engineers to architects, project managers and workersto help ready the Museum for its holiday reopening, but there are months of work remaining before the Museum is fully restored to its prior functionality. Upon reopening, the Brandywine will continue to follow the CDC and PA Department of Health guidance on COVID-19. Guests are encouraged to visit www.brandywine.org/now-open
to view the most up-to-date visitation guidelines and to reserve their timed tickets before arrival.