Elisa and Dick Poole have been collecting art for 50 years, since shortly before they were married, when they bought their first painting together, an original watercolor of a woods scene by still-active artist Carolyn Blish. She had donated her painting for a benefit auction at Wanamaker’s Scarlet Ribbon Day sponsored by the Junior League of Wilmington, but only the Pooles showed up for the sale, bidding $8. The sale was postponed until someone else arrived, and in the end the Pooles paid $11.
On their 40th wedding anniversary, the Pooles opened AerieArt Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, having accumulated many more paintings than walls to hang them on. However, purchases continued to outpace sales, so they decided - Dick having been a Delaware Historical Society trustee and twice chairman - to donate for this sale 25 of their favorite paintings by less well-known Delaware artists who deserve to be remembered and collected.
The sale will be held Thursday to Saturday, April 4 to 6, at Old Town Hall, on the Wilmingtown Campus of the DHS at 6th and Market streets in Wilmington. The Pooles will fix a buy-it-now price for each piece, representing the retail price of the artwork at AerieArt Gallery, allowing an immediate purchase without the risk of being overbid. But any lesser amount will be considered, including an increase over a previous offer. The Pooles will be the sole judges of when to accept an offer, or to retain any painting if a sufficient bid is not forthcoming.
For a complete view of paintings and links to purchase tickets, go to dehistory.org/ArtSale.htm.
Hours for the show and sale are as follows: Champagne Reception and Fine Art Preview and Sale, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4, $25 per person; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday April 5 (including Wilmington Art Loop beginning at 5 p.m.), free; and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 6, free.