THE WONDER OF WYETH
FOR THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF ARTIST ANDREW WYETH’S BIRTH, THE BRANDYWINE RIVER MUSEUM OF ART CONSIDERS THE MAN BEHIND THE BRUSH IN A MAJOR EXHIBIT.
For the 100th anniversary of artist Andrew Wyeth’s birth, the Brandywine River Museum of Art considers the man behind the brush in a major exhibit.
All summer long, the Brandywine River Museum of Art celebrates the 100th birthday of Andrew Wyeth by exhibiting more than 100 works, drawn from its collections and from around the country. The youngest son of famed children’s book illustrator N.C. Wyeth, the artist, who died in 2009 and was born in Chadds Ford, has a long association with the Brandywine Valley and its moody landscapes.
Arranged chronologically, the exhibit, on view from June 24 to September 17, begins with watercolors from the 1930s that “will surprise even those familiar with his work,” promises curator Audrey Lewis. “They’re eye-opening in their spontaneity and brilliant colors,” she says.
By the 1940s, we see Wyeth falling under the spell of tempera—also a watersoluble medium but one made a bit heavier by the addition of a glutinous binder such as egg yolk. “Tempera allowed him to work more deliberately and slowly,” explains Lewis.
Works from the 1950s and ’60s are “particularly moving,” Lewis says, “as Wyeth begins to focus on a small African-american community in Chadds Ford. He wanted to know them more deeply, as he often did with individuals and families. For him, familiarity opened his eyes to subtleties.”
Galleries exploring Wyeth’s later years include nudes and psychologically and compositionally complex works that cast a reflective look back on his long career. “I think people will really respond to Goodbye (2008),” says Lewis. “It’s the last painting he finished before he died and includes many of the motifs he returned to again and again in his career.” 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, 610-3882700; brandywine.org