Spotlight: Brandywine River Museum of Art

 

Renowned for its holdings of the Wyeth family of artists, the Brandywine Museum of Art features galleries dedicated to the work of N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth. The Museum’s outstanding Heritage Collection is a cross section of American art, with a special focus on artistic practice in the Brandywine valley.

 

Landscape, 1874 (oil on canvas), Henry Lea Tatnall (1830-85) /
Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA.

 

While well-known for its holdings of the Wyeth family of artists, the illustrative works of N.C. Wyeth are deserving of special mention. Wyeth was one of America's foremost illustrators in the 20th century, with his exciting imagery of armour-clad knights, swashbuckling pirates and hard-riding cowboys firing the imaginations of generations of readers.

 

Left: Island Funeral, 1939 (egg tempera and oil on hardboard), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA. Right: The Last of the Mohicans, cover illustration, 1919 (oil on canvas), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA.

 

Indeed, this type of artwork has become one of the most well-known facets of the collection, and it boasts an impressive selection of different illustrations from the whole family. While Wyeth himself was sought after for book and magazine commissions, he was troubled by societal distinctions made between illustrators and artists.

 

Beach Scene, Coney Island, 1915-1918 (oil on wood panel), Edward Henry Potthast
(1857-1927) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA.

 

To help negate this percieved distinction his private work also includes vibrant still lives, detailed portraits and gorgeously lush landscapes, many of which are held in our archive. Across his career he proved himself to be a talented draughtsman and colourist.

 

Left: Our lives depended upon our helmsman, 1940 (oil on hardboard), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA. Centre: The Meeting of the Generals, 1919 (oil on canvas), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA.
Right: On the October Trail. (A Navajo family.), 1907 (oil on canvas), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA.

 

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century landscape paintings testify to the beauty which drew well-known artists to the area. Important portraits, still life paintings and notable holdings in American illustration add diversity and breadth to this unique collection.

 

Basket of Cherries, 1863 (oil on panel), John F. Francis (1808-86) /
Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA.

 

N.C. Wyeth settled in Chad's Ford in 1907, where the house and studio that he later built now form part of the Brandywine River Museum of Art. He and his wife Carolyn raised five children, three of whom became artists themselves, one a musician and one a mechanical engineer.

 

Left: "From an upper snow platform to which the hard blocks were thrown, a second man heaved them over the bank.", 1906 (oil on canvas), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA. Centre: After a long look I saw that he did not resume his narrative. By that I knew that the stranger was troubling him., 1911 (oil on canvas), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA. Right: Then the king . . . ran towards Sir Mordred, crying, "Traitor, now is thy death day come", 1917 (oil on canvas), Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) / Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA.

 

The Brandywine River Museum of Art has over 5,000 works in its permanent collection and offers photographic material for both commercial and non-commercial uses. We are pleased to hold a large selection of images from the Fine Art Collection. Discover the whole collection.

 

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