The Hagley Library announced March 16 that it acquired the Frank Schoonover Negatives Collection from the Delaware Art Museum.
The Schoonover collection documents the life and work of the noted artist and illustrator who was active during the “golden age” of magazine illustration, 1890 to 1940.
Born in Oxford, New Jersey, in 1877, Schoonover learned his craft under Howard Pyle, whose “Brandywine School” was a proving ground for young, aspiring artists beginning in 1894 at Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. Along with Schoonover, N.C. Wyeth, Stanley Arthurs, Harvey Dunn, Jessie Wilcox Smith and Violet Oakley were among the more than 140 artists who studied under Pyle.
Schoonover’s work appeared in most of the prominent American periodicals of his day, including Ladies Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, and Harper's Monthly. He also illustrated more than 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. He also taught classes for children and adults in the 1940s and ’50s. The studio remains an active space for artists and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Schoonover died in 1972 and was elected into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1996.
The work to digitize the collection and put it online is currently under progress. Researchers and members of the public can view at digital.hagley.org/schoonover.
A collection of photographic prints from the Schoonover collection is also available and open for research on-site at the Delaware Art Museum, which also holds the artist’s extensive archives. Research has begun for a book about Schoonover’s photography, underwritten by the Frank E. Schoonover Fund, with the cooperation of Hagley and the Delaware Art Museum.
For more, call 658-2400 or visit hagley.org.