THE DU PONT TROPHY 2017-07-12T23:55:38+00:00

The du Pont Trophy

On the edge of science, collections and art

The du Pont Trophy paintings, original works by artist Lauren Sweeney, honor outstanding exhibits at shell shows

The specimens found in natural history collections straddle the edge between art and science.  Collectors may be inspired to pick up a shell and put it in their pocket because it strikes them as beautiful.  But with the addition of some simple data such as date and location, the shells become a record of biodiversity and an essential scientific resource.

The inspiration for the 2016 du Pont Trophy

The inspiration for the 2016 du Pont Trophy

Shells in the research collection of the Delaware Museum of Natural History are the artistic inspiration for the du Pont Trophy, an award given at shell shows for the “Overall Outstanding Exhibit.” In 2012, the Trophy was reimagined as a print of shells from the research collection.  The original, commissioned watercolors that are the basis for the 2012-2016 trophies  are pictured below.

DMNH Executive Director Halsey Spruance, artist Lauren Sweeney and DMNH Curator of Mollusks Liz Shea at an exhibition of the du Pont Trophy paintings as part of the November 2015 Art Loop.

DMNH Executive Director Halsey Spruance, artist Lauren Sweeney and DMNH Curator of Mollusks Liz Shea at an exhibition of the du Pont Trophy paintings as part of the November 2015 Art Loop.

Artist’s Bio: Lauren Sweeney’s paintings are inspired by a lifetime of scientific observation.  Originally a biologist who focused her talents on research, teaching, and technical illustrations, Lauren is now a full-time artist who has exhibited her work in the greater Philadelphia area. In early February 2016 she will be showing her work at The Burrison Alumni Art Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania.  In addition, her work has been exhibited at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, the Sketch Club, Gallery Twenty Two, and the Main Line Art Center.  For more information about the artist, visit http://inliquid.org/complete-artist-list/sweeney-lauren/.

Purchase: If you are interested in purchasing one of these original watercolors for the du Pont Trophy award, please contact Elizabeth Shea at 302-658-9111 x319 or eshea@delmnh.org.  Framed watercolor paintings are $650 each, and all sales support Collections and Research at the Museum.