AFA Autumn 2019

Antiques & Fine Art 81 2019 N ewell Convers (N. C.) Wyeth (1882–1945), one of the foremost illustrators of his generation and the patriarch of an extraordinarily artistic family, is an often-overlooked figure in the history of American art. N. C. Wyeth: New Perspectives, at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, is the first sweeping view of Wyeth’s entire career in nearly fifty years. Through around seventy paintings and drawings selected from major museums and private collections, it offers a reintroduction to an artist many of us thought we knew. By repositioning Wyeth as a distinguished painter (Fig. 1) who worked across the perceived divisions of visual culture in painting, illustration, murals, and advertising, the exhibition offers new insights on Wyeth’s place within the spectrum of early twentieth- century visual arts. In October 1902, twenty years old and deeply attached to his family and hometown of Needham, Massachusetts, Wyeth relocated to Wilmington, Delaware, to study with the preeminent illustrator and teacher Howard Pyle. Despite his Northeastern upbringing, Wyeth chose to specialize in depictions of the American West, his enthusiasm fired by the work of Western N. C. Wyeth: New Perspectives by Christine Podmaniczky and Jessica May previous page Fig. 1: N. C. Wyeth (1882–1945), Self-portrait with Palette, ca. 1909–1912. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30⅛ inches. The Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection. left Fig. 2: N. C. Wyeth (1882–1945), Saturday Evening Post, cover ( Bucking Bronco ), 1903. Oil on canvas on hardboard, 27½ x 19½ inches. Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles. right Fig. 3: N. C. Wyeth (1882–1945), In the Crystal Depths, 1906. Oil on canvas, 38 x 26 inches. Brandywine River Museum of Art. Museum purchase (1981).