A work of art with the acquisition year “1912” provides a link to Howard Pyle, a major illustrator at the turn of the 20th century, whose work formed the Delaware Art Museum’s founding collection in 1912, a year after the artist’s death. This ink drawing was among the first works to make up the Museum’s now famous holdings of American illustration. As part of his retelling of the Arthurian tales, Pyle drew the surreptitious King Mark with his grimacing profile and spiky beard thrust into the air. His fists gripping staff and curtain make it clear that he does not like what his spying has revealed; he is already secretly plotting something ominous. Pyle’s precise pen gives the King a backdrop of patterned curtains and floor, and beautifully rendered designs on his belt and cloak, and even on his shoes. The King’s beard, too, is gracefully delineated. Still, the inescapable centerpiece is the empty space beyond, its light pierced by sharp points foreboding danger.