Wyeth, Andrew Newell

Wyeth, Andrew Newell wī´əth [key], 1917–2009, American painter, b. Chadds Ford, Pa. Wyeth's work has been enormously popular, critically acclaimed, and sometimes severely criticized since his first one-man show in 1937. He was trained by his father, the noted illustrator N. C. Wyeth , but he rejected the action-filled storytelling work of his father in favor of a quieter range of subjects and treatments. The rustic places and ordinary people of Chadds Ford and Cushing, Maine, were his principal subjects. They are portrayed in a meticulous, naturalistic style, often in watercolor or in the matte textures made possible by the use of egg tempera, in a somber palette where browns and grays predominate, and in moods frequently tinged with melancholy. The best-known of Wyeth's paintings, the bleak and iconic Christina's World (1948), is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City. His Helga pictures, a large group of intimate portraits of a neighbor, painted over many years, were first shown publicly in 1986. His son, Jamie Wyeth (James Browning Wyeth), 1946–, b. Wilmington, Del., also is a well-known realist artist. The Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford has an outstanding collection of the works of all three generations of Wyeths.

See R. Meryman, Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait (2013) his autobiography (1995) biographies by R. Meryman (1968 and 1996) G. Logsdon, Wyeth People (1971) W. M. Corn, ed., The Art of Andrew Wyeth (1973) B. J. Wyeth, Wyeth at Kuerners (1976) and Christina's World (1982) J. H. Duff, An American Vision: Three Generations of Wyeth Art (1987) J. Wilmerding, Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures (1987) A. Knutson et al., Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic (2005) D. Cateforis, Rethinking Andrew Wyeth (2014).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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