Celebrate ‘Holiday Magic at Brandywine’ Beginning October 31

Nicky Wyeth's historic tinplate model train layout

CHADDS FORD, PA —The wonder of the holiday season starts early at the Brandywine River Museum of Art this year! Beginning on October 31, 2020, visitors can enjoy “Holiday Magic at Brandywine” with the opening of the Brandywine Railroad—a holiday favorite since 1972. On view through January 10, 2021, this year’s seasonal offerings will also include the return of artist and composer Ann Wyeth McCoy’s dollhouse, which features six rooms filled with three-dozen dolls and hundreds of miniature objects that will delight visitors of all ages.

While slightly modified this year to provide a safe and socially distant experience, the Brandywine Railroad display will still have plenty of model trains, miniature details and the engaging elements that everyone loves—including interactive components operated by hands-free foot pedals. The iconic O-gauge display will feature trains running on a thousand feet of track through a small village, a drive-in movie theater and even a carnival. This year the Brandywine will also introduce two model train sets with layouts once owned by Nicky and Jamie Wyeth—sons of the renowned American artist, Andrew Wyeth.

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Nicky Wyeth’s standard gauge train display features historic “tinplate” Lionel trains from the 1920s and 30s traveling around colorful buildings and scenery, including a large bridge modeled after New York’s Hell Gate Bridge. The 8 x 12 foot display was also recently enhanced with modern reproductions of a 1940s monorail. Artist Jamie Wyeth’s N-gauge train display was originally co-owned by Wyeth and his friend and fellow toy collector, artist Andy Warhol. Included in the 4 x 6 foot landscape are foothills of a mountain, train tunnels with a bridge crossing a lake, and even a diminutive industrial town with a main street packed with businesses and rowhouses, a steel mill, and a large metal warehouse featuring an oversized reproduction of Wyeth’s own famous painting, Portrait of Pig.

Beginning November 27, the Brandywine’s whimsical Critter ornaments—handcrafted by volunteers at home this year—will also be back to decorate the towering trees in the Museum’s three-story atrium. Thousands of these unique treasures will be available for purchase during the Annual Holiday Critter Sale from December 2-6, 2020. Safety precautions, including face mask requirements and capacity limits, will be in place for all in-person shopping. New this year, a selection of some of the Brandywine’s most popular Critter creations are also available for purchase online and can be shipped across the country. The online Critter shop can be found at www.brandywine.org/critters.

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To ensure the safety, security and quality of the visitor experience, the Brandywine has implemented a variety of new COVID-19 procedures, including face mask requirements, timed ticketing and capacity limits. All guests will need to reserve timed tickets prior to visiting the Brandywine River Museum of Art; advance reservations are recommended. More information on these safety procedures and timed ticketing can be found at www.brandywine.org/now-open

Support for “Holiday Magic at Brandywine” is generously provided by The Davenport Family Foundation Fund for Exhibitions, Herr Foods Inc., and The Frelinghuysen Foundation.

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