New exhibitions at Biggs Museum to run through June 19

March 13, 2021

Dover’s Biggs Museum of American Art welcomes two new exhibitions this weekend which showcase a variety of artistic styles. Both will run through Saturday, June 19.

The artistic drive to leave the studio and collect inspiration, impressions and ideas directly from nature is featured in the larger of the two new exhibitions, titled In Fresh Air: Impressionism and the Plein Air Movement. A French term that translates to “open air,” plein air paintings are created by artists who bring their supplies to scenic outdoor settings and paint what they see. Drawn from works rarely seen at the Biggs Museum, the exhibition tracks the influence of plein air painting in the United States, particularly in Delaware, with a focus on the museum’s extensive Barbizon, Tonalist and Impressionist collections. Over 100 years’ worth of paintings connected by the plein air tradition will be brought together in this comprehensive exhibition.

Through the second new exhibition, Out of the Vault: Modern and Contemporary Art, viewers can witness an evolution of the Biggs through a reinstallation of the museum’s entire third-floor galleries to feature rarely exhibited paintings, photographs, sculpture and crafts from the post-World War I period to the contemporary arts of the present day. Much of this work has been added to the collection in the past 10 years, but it has rarely been shared with the public.

In addition to the new exhibitions, the Biggs has extended its exhibition, Toni Frissell: In Italy with the Tuskegee Airmen through Saturday, April 24. Frissell (1907-88), an eminent fashion and society photographer, held several official positions with the American Red Cross, the Women’s Army Corps and the U.S. Air Force to document World War II. This exhibition highlights her images of the Tuskegee Airmen, the 332d Fighter Group, from the collection of the Library of Congress.

Located at 406 Federal St. in Dover, the Biggs Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended to avoid wait times. To reserve daily admission tickets in advance, go to or call 302-674-2111.

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