American Art Legends: The Wyeths and American Artists in Maine Headline the Spring Exhibition Opener
ORLANDO, January 12, 2017 – The Wyeths and American Artists in Maine: Selections from the Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum brings together 53 paintings that reflect the breadth of American artists who have worked in the State since the mid- nineteenth century. The opening reception for this exhibition will be January 20, 2017 from 6:30 – 8:00pm. Open to the public, there will be a wine and beer cash bar and complimentary soft drinks. Michael K. Komanecky, Chief Curator of the Farnsworth Art Museum will present a talk about the Wyeth’s and Maine’s extraordinary artistic heritage at 6:30pm. Also on view will be four major paintings by the contemporary realist Bo Bartlett. These are presented in collaboration with the exhibition Bo Bartlett: American Artist, organized by The Mennello Museum of American Art and opening there the following week - January 27, 2017. Admission to the opening reception is $10; Museum Members are FREE.
The Orlando Museum of Art is presenting The Wyeths and American Artists in Maine: Selections from the Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Andrew Wyeth’s birth. The Farnsworth Art Museum holds one of the finest collections of work by three generations of Wyeth family artists. It is also the home of the Wyeth Center, which encompasses a number of historic properties including the Olson House, the subject of many of Andrew Wyeth’s best-known paintings.
While scores of American artists have worked in Maine over the past century, the three generations of Wyeth family artists have been uniquely identified with the State. In 1910, N. C. Wyeth, then one of America’s most popular illustrators, began seasonal visits to the central coast and eventually established a home near Port Clyde. His son Andrew continued the tradition, maintaining a home and studio in nearby Cushing. There he painted Christina’s World, an iconic work that earned him international recognition when it was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art. Andrew Wyeth’s distinctive style of spare, but sharply observed realism was well suited to the landscapes and people he chose to paint in Maine. James Wyeth, Andrew’s son, is now the third generation of the family to achieve international stature as an artist. James Wyeth maintains several homes in Maine including the historic home of Rockwell Kent on Monhegan Island.
“Nature and landscape has been the source of inspiration for American artists, writers and philosophers for more than two centuries. Throughout that time the distinctive natural beauty of Maine has played key role in defining this aspect of American cultural,” said Hansen Mulford, Curator.
Along with outstanding works by three generations of Wyeths, the exhibition also represents the rich and diverse artistic legacy of artists in Maine, which preceded them or were their contemporaries. These include George Bellows, Robert Henri, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Fitz Henry Lane, Rockwell Kent, John Marin and many others. The exhibition has been organized in conjunction with the Farnsworth Art Museum.
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Image credits (from top to bottom):
N.C. Wyeth, Maine Headland, Black Head, Monhegan Island, c. 1936-38, oil on canvas, 48 ¼ x 52 ¼ in. Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Elizabeth B. Noyce. Image courtesy of the Farnsworth Art Museum.
James Wyeth, Iris at Sea, Study #2, 1993, combined mediums on toned board, 20 1/16 x 16 1/8 x ¾ in. Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Elizabeth B. Noyce. © Jamie Wyeth. Image courtesy of the Farnsworth Art Museum.