Within a ten-year period, Mr. Biggs opened and nurtured a small American art museum with a collection that reflected important early art forms of Delaware. During the past fifteen years, the museum staff and trustees have built on that foundation, creating one of the finest regional art museums in the country. The Biggs Museum of American Art is the only institution working to give national attention to the full range of artistic achievement and cultural strength within Delaware and the greater Delmarva region (fig. 5) . Its most distinguishing characteristic is its courage in building an important American art collection that offers a better understanding of a unique cultural geography—displaying the best of the nation next to the best from right here.

Fig. 5. The American Rococo Gallery features exceptional Philadelphia furniture and silver in front of the 1758 Shipley mantel from Wilmington, Delaware.

This article is generously sponsored by Stratus Foundation/flyAdvanced.

Excerpt from the article submitted for publication in Antiques & Fine Art (Winter 2017).

1 Two chairs have been gifted, and two are promised gifts of the descendants of Vincent Loockerman. 2 The museum owns one side chair from this set; it is inscribed with Randolph’s name and the partially obscured date of 1762 or 1765.

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