On January 16, Andrews Wyeth passed away at the age of 91. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Andrew wasn't the only one in his family who was artistically inclined. His father, painter and book illustrator N.C. Wyeth, was also a well known artist.
As is the case with most famous artists, Wyeth had his detractors. Some art critics regarded him as a "facile realist." They considered him to be a simple illustrator. In this author's opinion, Wyeth was much more than this. His most famous painting, Christina's World, made use of space to perfectly illustrate the feeling of loneliness and solitude.
Wyeth first received international acclaim with one of his paintings for the series, Ericksons. His painting of Siri, the daughter of George Erickson sold for $10.3 million dollars in 2007. The Ericksons were Wyeth's neighbors and he painted them over a ten year period.
His painting, Christina's World, was a painting of a woman named Christina Olson. Christina had a disease that paralyzed her lower body. It is said that Wyeth was inspired to create the painting when he saw her crawling across a field from a window of the house. The location was actually Cushing, Maine.
Wyeth first drew international acclaim with his painting, Siri.
Although the inspiration for the painting came from Christina, he used the torso of his wife Betsy as the subject in the painting. Christina was much older than the subject at 55 years old.
Wyeth had a summer home in the area and was on friendly terms with Olson. Wyeth also used her younger brother in several of his paintings from 1940 to 1968. Visitors can actually tour the area where Christina's World was painted. The house on the hill in the painting is now a museum called the Farnsworth Museum. Wyeth's 87-year old brother-in-law, Dudley Rockwell gives tours of the house and speaks about the history and the artist's friendship with Christina, who died in 1967.
In November of 2007, Wyeth received the National Medal of Arts from President Bush. Wyeth received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, and President Nixon sponsored an exhibition of Wyeth's paintings at the White House. His painting "Jupiter," is displayed in the family sitting room of the White House.
Andrew Wyeth's most famous painting, Christina's World, painted in 1948.
The Olson House, from the painting Christina's World, as it appears today. The house is located in Cushing, Maine.
Art from Moldova
Sergiu Vlad of Chisinau, Moldova e-mailed me some of his paintings. The country of Moldova is sandwiched between the Ukraine and Romania. It is a small country and was formerly part of the USSR up until 1990. Sergiu is 22 years old and recently graduated from the Academy of Art in Moldova. He says that in Moldova, people don't buy art because the citizens are very poor and are doing well if they are able to feed themselves. He asked for my help in promoting his work. I thought it looked great and am including a few paintings below. If you would like a painting, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have art news you want to share? Are you an art teacher and want to brag about your students here? E-mail me with your news and I will put it here next month.