All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic

Andrew Wyeth wasn't born in Maine, and doesn't live here year-round, but is arguably the state's greatest living painter.

Like his father N. C. Wyeth, and his son Jamie Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth found inspiration in Midcoast Maine. Now 88, Wyeth spends his summers on Benner Island, halfway between Port Clyde and Monhegan. Even the untutored will recognize his 1948 work Christina's World, conceived in Cushing and now hanging in New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Now the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is mounting a Wyeth retrospective, running from Nov. 12 through Feb. 26, and then moving to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in March. Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic will feature about "one hundred tempera paintings, watercolors, and drawings, many from the personal collection of Andrew and Betsy Wyeth."
By focusing on paintings of painstakingly realistic inanimate objects and monochromatic brown landscapes, the exhibit shows how Wyeth gradually erased human warmth out of his works and left aching, hopeless voids that won't be filled. [Link]
We in Maine need travel no farther than Rockland to get a Wyeth fix. The Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum is the world's foremost Wyeth research center, and houses an extensive collection of artwork by the clan. The museum also maintains the Olson House in Cushing—featured in Christina's World and several other Andrew Wyeth works, and open to visitors Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
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