Saturday, July 1, 2017

Andrew Wyeth Centennial

This will be a good summer for fans of Andrew Wyeth's work.

On July 12, to honor what would have been his 100th birthday, The US Postal Service will release a pane of stamps of his artwork, including this slightly cropped version of Christina's World.

There's an exhibit of his original art called "Andrew Wyeth at 100: A Family Remembrance" at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The curator is his granddaughter Victoria, who included some artwork, ephemera, and photos that haven't been seen before.

The Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania is hosting a large exhibition called "Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect," showcasing some of his best known portraits, landscapes, and interiors from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where he lived, and from Maine, where he spent his summers.

Along with that exhibit is a catalog published by Yale University Press called Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect. The book is heavy with academic writing, and as one Amazon review put it, "I bought it for the pictures. Who really reads these things?"

For those who want a slim, affordable book with lots of artwork, I recommend the new book by Rizzoli publishers book called Andrew Wyeth: People and Places. This compact book (8 x 7 inches, softcover) features highlights from his seven decade career. After a short biographical introduction, the rest of the book is all his most famous artwork.

Rizzoli has also released a book American Treasures: The Brandywine River Museum of Art featuring the highlights of the Brandywine River Museum, with photos, artwork, and stories about the artistic heritage of the Pennsylvania valley.

If you want a book that gets into Wyeth's thought process, I recommend Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait, based on extensive interviews with his biographer Richard Meryman. Meryman's definitive biography Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life is also a must read. Wyeth himself picked out Meryman to be his biographer, told him everything, and encouraged him not to spare any of the hard truths.

One of the best video documentaries about Wyeth's life is the one produced by former Python Michael Palin. (Link to YouTube)
Cooperstown, New York: Fenimore Art Museum "Andrew Wyeth at 100: A Family Remembrance"
will be on view through September 4, 2017.
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania: The Brandywine River Museum, "Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect" will be on view through September 17.
Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect
Andrew Wyeth: People and Places
American Treasures: The Brandywine River Museum of Art
Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait
Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life


Warren JB said...

'The book is heavy with academic writing, and as one Amazon review put it, "I bought it for the pictures. Who really reads these things?"'

One line like that on Gurney Journey is worth several paragraphs of criticism on a more bellicose blog! But thanks. I'm an ocean too far away for the exhibitions, but the book recommendations are appreciated.

'former Python Michael Palin'

"She's turned me into a python!"

"A python!?"

"... I got better..."

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Robert Cosgrove said...

Also worth checking out is the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine, which I believe is currently featuring an exhibition of AW watercolors and has or will have an "AW at 100" show--not sure if it's the same as the other one you mention in your post. Anyone going will also want to take in the Farnworth's Wyeth center, which features rotating exhibits of Jamie's stuff on one floor and N.C. Wyeth's on another. And of course, you can get tickets to the Olson house . . .

Martha said...

Robert, Thanks for mentioning the Maine show--some of my favorite Wyeth work in those watercolors.

Glenn Tait said...

I had a unique experience at the Brandywine Museum in the mid '80s. Apart from being overwhelmed by the paintings (three generations of Wyeths, Pyle, Schoonover, etc.), it happened to be the day that the Helga paintings were officially revealed to the public. Additionally, as I had taken a train and cab to get to the museum from Philadelphia, one of the volunteers kindly offered to give me a ride back to the train station. On the way she ended up giving me a tour of Chadds Ford, the various farms and places where Wyeth had painted, his farm and the train crossing where N.C. Wyeth had died.

Gloria J Callahan Colored Pencil Paintings said...

Thank you Jams for the link to the documentary. An artist friend and myself went to Chadds Ford an toured his home and studio, and museum just after his big show here in Richmond's VMFA. It was very inspiring and I long to make the trip to Maine also. thank you for today's post and the pushing it up on my bucket list!

Edward said...

Thanks for the link to the documentary. Very well done (great cinematography!) Didn't expect the interview with Helga.

Rich said...

The way he painted that grass! - I'd like to learn more about: It would outweigh lots of these biographical details, in my view.

Michael L. Garrett said...

Just came back from Cooperstown (birthday weekend). The show at the Fenimore is small but great. Well worth the trip. :)