George Hardcastle & Sons, Inc., the art supply and frame shop, was established in Wilmington, Delaware in 1888. In 1946, ownership was assumed by Bayard Taylor Berndt, a well-known local artist, and his brother-in-law Ray Coakley. Berndt invited local painters to display their works in his Shipley Street store, establishing Delaware's first art gallery. Berndt, who was a daily presence at Hardcastles until 1980, had a great influence on the growing Wilmington art community.
Now located in Centreville about five miles north of downtown Wilmington, Hardcastle Gallery remains a haven for artists who follow the "Brandywine School" of painting originated by renowned artist Howard Pyle. Today, many artists, including W. James McGlynn and C. Phillip Wikoff, fondly remember Berndt for his encouragement of established and budding artists. His son David, who worked and learned with him for 14 years before assuming ownership of the gallery, was instilled with his fathers philosophy of supporting the local art community.
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