Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect

An Exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum celebrating the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth

I spent all day today at the Brandywine River museum at the ‘Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect’ exhibit. I’d been looking forward to this since it’s announcement, and today was the day, on the 100th anniversary of Andrew Wyeth’s birth!

The museum had organized special events for the day, including the dedication of 12 Andrew Wyeth Forever® Stamps by the United States Postal Service, a tour of his studio, and watercolor demos by local artists.

I envisioned that an exhibit of this caliber would bring together many of Wyeth’s rarely seen works and I was anticipating his watercolors, especially the ones from his early period, and it did not disappoint. Kudos to the curators Audrey Lewis (Curator, Brandywine River Museum of Art) and Patricia Junker (the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum), for a fabulous output.

The exhibit spanning two floors of the museum is presented chronologically and spans Wyeth’s work from his very early stages, as early as his twenties, all the way through to his last painting titled ‘Goodbye’ which he completed just prior to his death.

This is just a teaser of a few of his watercolors!

I ended the day with a preview of the WYETH documentary feature film, that presents, through his paintings, his life story and his emotions and the driving force that led him to paint objects, landscapes and people in just the two locales where he spent most of his life – Chadds Ford and Maine. The documentary attempts to reveal through his paintings for the first time, what lies beneath the Wyeth that the world thought they knew. It talks about his journey to reduce his subject to its bare essentials using objects and landscapes to evoke emotions and represent people of importance in his life. The documentary is set to premier on PBS series American Master sometime in spring / Fall of 2018.

The exhibit leaves you breathless. It’s worth seeing more than once and I expect to do so. It’s on view here in Chadds Ford through September 17, and then it will go on to be  presented at the Seattle Art Museum beginning in October 2017.

If you get a chance, this is a must see exhibit of Chadds Ford’s most iconic resident artist.

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