New Pre-Raphaelite Curator and Chief Curator announced at the Delaware Art Museum
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New Pre-Raphaelite Curator and Chief Curator announced at the Delaware Art Museum
Clockwise from top left: Dr. Margaretta Frederick, Dr. Sophie Lynford, Dr. Heather Campbell Coyle, Margaret Winslow. Images by Shannon Woodloe.

WILMINGTON, DE.- The Delaware Art Museum celebrates several staff transitions in the curatorial department this summer. Dr. Margaretta Frederick recently retired from her role as the Annette Woolard-Provine Curator. She has transitioned to Curator Emerita to work on independent research projects. Dr. Sophie Lynford has been appointed the incoming Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Collection, beginning her work with DelArt’s famed Pre-Raphaelite collection in August. Dr. Heather Campbell Coyle will rotate out of the Chief Curator role to begin dedicated research on the Museum’s illustration collection, and Margaret Winslow will lead the department as Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art.

“We congratulate Dr. Margaretta Frederick on her outstanding career and thank her for her dedicated work at the Delaware Art Museum. We welcome Dr. Sophie Lynford to the DelArt team and look forward to the rich ideas and deep knowledge she brings to the renowned Bancroft Collection,” says Molly Giordano, Executive Director. “I thank Dr. Heather Campbell Coyle for her leadership, especially her recent transformation of the Museum's main floor galleries, and I look forward to seeing where her research leads us in the coming years. Finally, I look forward to Margaret Winslow’s leadership as Chief Curator. Winslow’s amplification of Wilmington’s local art history and culture, expansion of narratives to include unrecognized artists and sources of expertise, and her commitment to artists in our community as essential workers are ideals that align with DelArt’s vision and our role as a community-centered, 21st century Museum.”

Dr. Margaretta Frederick’s career at the Delaware Art Museum has been marked by several significant accomplishments. Dr. Frederick secured the endowment for the position of Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Collection, ensuring long-term support for the pivotal role. She attracted funding for the Amy P. Goldman Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies, a joint program with the University of Delaware Library. Dr. Frederick co-managed the move of DelArt’s entire collections database to an online, publicly searchable platform, making them globally accessible. Over her decades-long career, Dr. Frederick’s work placed the Bancroft Collection at DelArt on an international footing, initiating and enabling national and international partnerships and relationships. This led to major exhibitions including “Poetry in Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of Marie Spartali Stillman” and loans with Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington. Dr. Frederick added over 75 works to Delaware Art Museum’s collection – broadening the scope of the Bancroft collection while remaining true to Bancroft’s aesthetic. Dr. Frederick served as Chief Curator from 2010 to 2016. She presided over two collection reinstallations, including last year’s opening of Picturing Beauty, the new suite of Pre-Raphaelite galleries.

Dr. Frederick’s latest achievement is the co-curatorship of this fall’s much-anticipated exhibition, “A Marriage of Arts & Crafts: Evelyn & William De Morgan,” which will make its U.S. debut at the Delaware Art Museum on October 22. She is also editor and contributing author of the accompanying catalogue. Dr. Frederick retired to Curator Emerita in May.

Dr. Sophie Lynford was previously the Rousseau Curatorial Fellow in European Art at the Harvard Art Museums. She is a specialist in British and American art of the nineteenth century and an expert on the Pre-Raphaelite movement and has published and lectured widely on the subject. In September, Princeton University Press will publish her book, “Painting Dissent: Art, Ethics, and the American Pre-Raphaelites,” which examines the Pre-Raphaelite movement in the United States and its passionate commitment to abolition and radical reform. Prior to joining the Harvard Art Museums, Lynford was the Douglass Foundation Fellow in American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a member of the curatorial departments at the New-York Historical Society and the Yale Center for British Art. She co-curated the 2018 exhibition, “Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance” at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and co-authored the accompanying catalogue.

At the Harvard Art Museums, Lynford worked extensively with the Grenville Winthrop Collection of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture by the British Pre-Raphaelites and their followers. Recently, she curated and co-curated “Framed: the Victorians” and “The Art + Science Pathway.” She was a member of Harvard Art Museums’ ReFrame project, a museum-wide initiative to reinterpret the institution’s permanent collections, reckon with difficult histories, and elevate the contributions of underrepresented artists and makers.

Lynford received her B.A. in art history from Brown University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from Yale University.

Dr. Heather Campbell Coyle’s leadership as Chief Curator led to the redesign of DelArt’s main-floor permanent galleries, which reopened in 2021 with an expanded focus on the stories of women and people of color. During her time as Chief Curator, she organized exhibitions including “The Montgomery Bus Boycott: Drawings by Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman,” “No Jury, No Prizes: The Society of Independent Artists,” and “An American Journey: The Art of John Sloan,” for which she edited the exhibition catalogue. She supervised the donation and conservation of works from the Hotel du Pont and championed strategic art acquisitions that allow the Museum to present a more inclusive history of American art and illustration. With the establishment in 2018 of the Lynn Herrick Sharp Curatorial Fellowship, Coyle has collaborated deeply with doctoral candidates from the University of Delaware, where she received her Ph.D.

Dr. Coyle rotates out of the Chief Curator position to devote her time to dedicated research in American art and illustration. Dr. Coyle is working on several upcoming exhibitions, including the 2024 show “Jazz Age Illustration.”

Margaret Winslow’s work as Curator of Contemporary Art brought a new focus to local art history and culture. Winslow curated the groundbreaking 2015 exhibition “Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970–1990.” In 2018, Winslow led a city-wide effort to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Wilmington uprisings and commissioned Hank Willis Thomas’s “Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot.” Her launch of the Distinguished Artist Series in 2019 offers the opportunity to celebrate those artists who have impacted art in the greater Brandywine Valley for decades. This past fall, she again showcased erased local history in the reprisal of “Afro-American Images 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks,” an exhibition co-presented with Aesthetic Dynamics.

As Chief Curator, Winslow will lead a department of nine while managing several upcoming projects aligned with the Museum’s strategic plan. This fall, Winslow pilots a new program to train workers to conserve public works of art throughout the city of Wilmington. Winslow is researching art and cultural programs funded by the 1973 Federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) in preparation for a 2026 exhibition that will highlight CETA’s impact on artists in Delaware and nationally.

“I look forward to leading the curatorial department, which Dr. Coyle has stewarded so well since 2017. This summer and fall bring an exciting slate of exhibitions that celebrate the art and people inspiring our community,” shares Winslow.

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