Andrew Newell Wyeth is noted for his unique painting in watercolors and egg tempera. His paintings are mostly scenes of country life, set around his home in Chadds Ford, PA, as well as his summer home in Cushing, Maine.
Wyeth was born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, on July 12, 1917. He received all of his art training from his father, famous artist N. C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth. N. C. also trained his daughters, Henriette and Carolyn, beginning a true family dynasty. Andrew's son Jamie (James Browning Wyeth) is continuing this tradition into the third generation.
Andrew did not enjoy good health as a child, but as part of his home schooling was his art education with his father. At age 22, in 1940, he married Betsey James. In 1943, he gained national recognition when The Saturday Evening Post used his painting The Hunter on their cover. Some of his work is also included in a show at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1963, Wyeth is the cover story for Time magazine. He is also nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Kennedy, the first visual artist so honored. His show at the Whitney Museum of American Art broke the museum's attendance record in 1967, and in 1987, the Museum of Modern Art featured Wyeth in its first major show of a living artist
Wyeth's work often portrayed a sense of privacy, or even isolation. He concentrated on the beauty of nature near his homes in Pennsylvania and Maine. He also concentrated on particular models for subjects of his paintings. In Maine, Christina Olsen and Siri Erikson were models for many of his paintings. In Pennsylvania, Helga Testorf was the subject of "the Helga series", a total of 240 paintings and drawings.
In addition to many other honors, he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1945, and was the first artist to receive the Congressional Gold Medal (1990). Among his most notable works are Christina's World, Wind From the Sea, Distant Thunder, Spring Fed, and That Gentleman.
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