Wyeth, Andrew


Inscribed signature of the major mid-20th century American realist painter



Autograph ID: 7076
Condition: Very good, very slight toning at sides will matt out.
Description: “(1917-2009) American realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalist style, one of the best-known mid-20th century US artists. Wyeth’s favorite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Penna., and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. One of the best-known images in 20th-century American art is “Christina’s World” (1948) currently in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, painted when Wyeth was 31. He was the youngest of 5 children of illustrator and artist N. C. Wyeth. N. C. was the only teacher that Andrew had, being schooled at home. N.C. and Carolyn’s 5 children were all talented: Henriette Wyeth Hurd became a well-known painter of portraits and still lifes; Carolyn, the 2nd child, was also a painter; Nathaniel, the 3rd child, was a successful inventor; Ann was a musician and became a composer as an adult. Wyeth started drawing at a young age and was a draftsman before he could read. By the time he was a teenager, his father brought him into his studio for the only art lessons he ever had. N.C. inspired his son’s love of rural landscapes, sense of romance, and artistic traditions With his father’s guidance, he mastered figure study and watercolor, and later learned egg tempera from his brother-in-law artist Peter Hurd. N.C. also fostered an inner self-confidence to follow one’s own talents without thought of how the work is received. In October 1945, his father and his 3-year-old nephew, were killed when their car was struck by a train. In 1940, Wyeth married Betsy James. Christina Olson, who would become the model for the iconic “Christina’s World”, met Wyeth through an introduction by Betsy who played an important role managing his career. Their first child, Nicholas, was born in 1943, followed by James (“Jamie”) three years later. Wyeth painted portraits of both children (“Nicholas” of his older son and “Faraway” of his younger son). Jamie followed his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, becoming the third generation of Wyeth artists. In 1937, at 20, Wyeth had his first one-man exhibition of watercolors in New York City and the entire inventory of paintings sold out. It was at the Olson farm in Cushing, Maine, that he painted “Christina’s World” (1948). Perhaps his most famous image, it depicts his neighbor, Christina Olson, sprawled on a dry field facing her house in the distance. Wyeth was inspired by Christina, who, crippled from an undiagnosed chronic condition and unable to walk, spent most of her time at home. Wyeth created nearly 300 drawings, watercolors and tempera paintings at Olson’s from 1937 to the late 1960s. In the early 1930s, Wyeth began painting Anna and Karl Kuerner, his neighbors in Chadds Ford. Like the Olsons, the Kuerners and their farm were one of Wyeth’s most important subjects for nearly 50 years. In 1986, extensive coverage was given to the revelation of a series of 247 studies of the German-born Helga Testorf, whom Wyeth met while she was attending to Karl Kuerner at his farm. Wyeth painted her over the period 1971–85 without the knowledge of either his wife or Helga’s husband. Brown Swiss (1957, private collection) is one of many paintings that he made from the 1950s to the 1970s of Karl and Anna Kuerner’s farm in Chadds Ford. While the painting is named after the Brown Swiss cows Kuerner owned, it shows the Kuerner farmhouse and the reflection of the house in the farm pond. Wyeth did not include any cows in the painting; only their tracks in the grass remain. In 1958, Andrew and Betsy Wyeth purchased and restored “The Mill”, a group of 18th-century buildings that appeared often in his work, including “Night Sleeper” (1979); Brinton’s Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Andrew Wyeth’s work is located in the collections of most major US museums, including: the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the National Gallery of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Especially large collections are in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, and the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina. Wyeth was the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the National Medal of Arts (2007), the Congressional gold Medal (1988, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States legislature); he was the first painter to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1963). In 1980 he became the 1st living American artist elected to Britain’s Royal Academy.

4 1/2 x 6 inscribed & signed sheet, with book reproduction of his famous 1948 painting, “Christina’s World”, for matting and framing.

NOTE: Toning (yellowing) is much darker than how the original actually appears!”
Type: Signature

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