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Arts Playlist: Hagley Museum & Library acquires Frank E. Schoonover Collection

Hagley Museum and Library

The Hagley Museum and Library has acquired the Frank E. Schoonover Negatives Collection from the Delaware Art Museum.

The Schoonover Collection documents the life and work of the noted artist and illustrator who was part of the golden age of magazine illustration between 1890 to 1940.




Schoonover’s grandson John says he’s glad the collection is getting some needed attention:

“Oh, it’s wonderful. I never anticipated that," said Schoonover. "Matter of fact, unbeknownst to us all these negatives were stored at the Delaware Art Museum, even fading, I understand.”

As part of Hagley’s agreement with the Delaware Art Museum and the Schoonover family, the collection will be preserved, digitized and put online.

Researchers and the public can view the items currently on Hagley’s website.


Kevin Martin, curator of audio, visual and digital collections at Hagley, says the acquisition is part of the museum’s effort to expand the scope of its collection.

“Hagley collects material related to the history of business and technology. So the core of our collection was the DuPont Company business records. But since then we’ve built out; we have records related to railroads, coal mines. We have the records of Avon, Wawa, so consumer cultures,” said Martin.

Martin notes Frank Schoonover’s work appeared many prominent periodicals of his day, including Ladies Home Journal and Harper's Monthly. He also illustrated over 100 books.


His studio, built in 1905-06 by the Bancroft family on North Rodney Street in Wilmington, served the artistic community as a place to work and teach throughout his career.


Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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