Howard Pyle

(American, 1853 - 1911)

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1853, Howard Pyle commuted to Philadelphia to study art with F. A. van der Wielen (n.d.) while still working in his father’s leather business. When Scribner’s Monthly Magazine first published one of his illustrations in 1876, Pyle moved to New York, where most of the magazines that would publish his work were based. There he continued his training at the Art Students League. In 1880 Pyle returned to Wilmington, and in 1894 he started teaching illustration at the newly founded Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia. The Drexel Institute gave selected students scholarships to work with Pyle at his summer studio in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, near Wilmington. In 1900 he built a studio on Franklin Street in Wilmington and confined his teaching to Wilmington and Chadds Ford. His most celebrated students were Frank Schoonover (1877-1972) and Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945), leaders of what came to be known as the Brandywine School. The influence of these artists was international and went beyond illustration, largely because of the fame of the paintings of N. C. Wyeth’s son Andrew (born 1917) and his grandson Jamie (born 1946). Howard Pyle died suddenly in Florence, Italy, in 1911.