Kaid Benfield Archive


Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009

Kaid Benfield

Posted January 17, 2009 at 5:25PM

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  Pennsylvania Landscape, Andrew Wyeth, Brandywine River MuseumNick and Jamie, Andrew Wyeth, Brandywine River Museum 

Andrew Wyeth, among the most "American" of artists, and from a distinguished family of artists, has passed away.  He leaves behind a vast legacy of enduring works, many of them of the rural American landscape that so many of us in the environmental world endeavor to preserve.

From the obituary on Yahoo news:

"PHILADELPHIA - Artist Andrew Wyeth, who portrayed the hidden melancholy of the people and landscapes of Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley and coastal Maine in works such as 'Christina's World,' died early Friday. He was 91.

"Wyeth died in his sleep at his home in the Philadelphia suburb of Chadds Ford, according to Jim Duff, director of the Brandywine River Museum.

"The son of famed painter and book illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth gained wealth, acclaim and tremendous popularity on his own. But he chafed under criticism from some experts who regarded him as a facile realist, not an artist but merely an illustrator.

"'He was a man of extraordinary perception, and that perception was found in his thousands of images - many, many of them iconic,' Duff said Friday in an interview. 'He highly valued the natural world, the historical objects of this world as they exist in the present and strong-willed people.'"

Around the Corner, Andrew Wyeth, Brandywine River MuseumWyeth's works were often controversial among critics because he favored realism in an age of abstraction, but they were always immensely popular with the American people.  If you want to discover his (and his family's) work, the best place to do so is the Brandywine River Museum, mentioned in the Yahoo story above.  Near his home, the BRM has the best collection of his works and is also the place to go for reproductions, since the proceeds will likely be reinvested in the Wyeth family legacy (click on the images in this post for purchase information).