The Farnsworth Art Museum opens two exhibitions of Andrew Wyeth’s work
Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) said,“most artists look for something fresh to paint; frankly I find that quite boring. For me it is much more exciting to find fresh meaning in something familiar.”
In 1920, his father, N.c.wyeth, bought a home in Port Clyde, Maine, for his family’s summer vacations.andrew was 3. Port Clyde and the central Maine coast gave him the inspiration to paint many icons of American art.
He also said,“one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” His love for the people of Maine and Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is well known through his paintings of the Olsons and the Kuerners. Less well known by name but known by Wyeth’s paintings of him is the Maine fisherman Walt Anderson, his life-long friend.the young, handsome Anderson appears in several early paintings. Sea Dog Study, 1971, depicts an older Anderson weathered by the sun and salt spray and almost literally broken by a nearly fatal accident aboard a fishing boat. He was 48 when he sat for the painting.
This moving painting will be shown in the exhibition Andrew Wyeth:temperas and Studies from the Wyeth Collection at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, through October 21.A companion exhibition, Andrew Wyeth in Rockland, will hang
in the museum’s Wyeth Study Center through November 4. Many of the works in both exhibitions have never been seen by the public.
Other works in the tempera and studies exhibition have recently returned from the highly acclaimed traveling exhibition, Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect. Some paintings will be paired with their studies to offer insight into his painting process.
The first Andrew Wyeth painting in the Farnsworth’s collection was Her Room, acquired in 1964.The museum opened the Wyeth Center in 2010 in a converted church to showcase the paintings of three generations of Wyeths, N.c.,andrew and Jamie.the center houses 15 preparatory studies for the painting.
The Farnsworth’s Wyeth experience also extends to the Olson House, in nearby Cushing, now open to the public. Memorialized in countless paintings it is the setting for his best-known painting, Christina’s World, now at the Museum of Modern Art in Newyork.
The exhibition at the Wyeth
Center features works Wyeth made on “occasional painting sojourns to Rockland between 1939 and 1989,” according to the museum.“while Rockland is not a major theme of Wyeth’s work these paintings document Rockland’s architecture and industrial past. Many of the sites he painted are now recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.”
Known for his mastery of egg tempera painting,wyeth also painted in watercolor. He said,“i loved the work of Winslow Homer, his watercolors, which I studied intensely so I could assimilate his various watercolor techniques.” He also felt that studying the Homer watercolors helped him loosen up his own technique.“with watercolor,” he said,“you can pick up the atmosphere, the temperature, the sound of snow shifting through the trees or over the ice of a small pond or against a windowpane.watercolor perfectly expresses the free side of my nature.”
Rockland Light, 1961, is in the exhibition.the light went into service in 1902 at the end of a long breakwater protecting Rockland Harbor. In the painting Wyeth captures the subtleties of light and shadow for which he is well known—the subtleties of the mundane which he reveals to have extraordinary beauty.
Wyeth Collection. Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), Rockland Harbor, 1954. Watercolor on paper. Farnsworth Art Museum © Andrew Wyeth/artists Rights Society (ARS). On view at Andrew Wyeth in Rockland.
Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), Sea Dog Study, 1917. Tempera on panel. The Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection © Andrew Wyeth/artists Rights Society (ARS). On view at Temperas and Studies from the
Temperas and Studies from the Wyeth Collection on view in the Farnsworth’s Hadlock Gallery.