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Brandywine River Museum of Art reopens for holiday season

Holiday Entrance Doors at Brandywine River Museum of Art
Brandywine River Museum of Art
Holiday Entrance Doors at Brandywine River Museum of Art

The Brandywine River Museum of Art reopens Friday for the holiday season.

But flood damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in September is still being cleaned up.

The museum has been closed to the public since September 1, 2021 after the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought historic flooding to Chadds Ford and across the Museum’s 15-acre campus.

The museum’s executive director and CEO Virginia Logan calls the extent of damage “truly devastating” - with damage estimates reaching $6-million and still rising.

“And the Museum of course is right on the banks of the Brandywine River," Logan said. "The flood waters exceeded prior floods by at least four feet and substantially damaged not only the Museum Building but all nine other buildings on our campus - ranging from those that have staff to our facilities building.”

Carlos Alejandro/Carlos Alejandro
Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art

Logan says luckily art in the galleries was unharmed by the storm, but the museum’s lowest level - containing a lecture room, classroom and offices sustained significant flood damage.

The lower level is still undergoing renovations and will be out of commission for some time.

The good news is visitors can return Friday, Nov. 26 to see the museum’s holiday touches, including the Brandywine Railroad holiday train display and the whimsical Critter ornaments decorating trees in the Museum atrium.

Logan says it was important to museum staff to get the doors back open for the holiday season.

“The first reason why we worked so hard to be able to open the doors is because our mission is to welcome the public into the galleries and the holiday display," Logan said. "And that’s critically important to us - we don’t like having to have our doors closed. And so with that in mind - yes - the ticket sales and things that people might purchase in the shop, will definitely provide much needed revenue.”

The museum’s iconic O-gauge model train, featuring 2,000-feet of track, is on display through Sunday, January 9.

Brandywine Critter - Teasel Reindeer Ornament
Brandywine Critter - Teasel Reindeer Ornament

And the Brandywine’s whimsical critter ornaments are also available to purchase during the annual Holiday Critter sale on December 4-5, 2021.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, except Christmas Day.

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.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.