Born July 12, 1917July 12. Born in Chadds Ford, PA. the home of his parents, Carolyn Brenneman Bockius and Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth, a successful and well-known illustrator.
The Wyeth FamilyWyeth is the last of five siblings - Henriette (born 1907), Carolyn (born 1909), Nathaniel (born 1911), and Ann (born 1915). His health is fragile enough to convince his parents to remove him from public schooling before he completes the 1st grade. He is instructed by private tutors, older relatives, and personal exploration in a family that prizes imagination and creativity. They spend each
summer in Port Clyde, Maine.
Wyeth children left to right: Ann, Nat, Andrew, Henriette, Carolyn c. 1919 Chadds Ford, photographer unknown
Formal Art EducationN. C. decides that Andrew is ready for a formal art education. In his father’s studio, traditional training includes drawing geometric forms, still lives and figure models from life and
again from memory.
Pistol and Bottle, 1932 charcoal on paper, 19 x 25.25 in.
November 7, 1932
Nineteenth Annual Exhibition – Delaware Artists, Pupils of Howard Pyle, Members of the Society, The Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts, Wilmington DE November 7 – 27, 1932. This exhibition marks the artist’s first public exhibition of his work.
The artist begins working at the Kuerner Farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The nearby property owned by German immigrants, Karl and Anna Kuerner, will be a major theme in the artist's work for the rest of his life.
Spring Landscape at Kuerners, 1933 oil on canvas, 32 x 40 in. Private Collection
Philadelphia Art AllianceWork by the Wyeth Family, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Pennsylvania March 25 – April 19, 1935. The artist’s father N.C. and sisters Henriette and Carolyn all represented
the family here.
Andrew Wyeth in the studio, c. 1932. Photographer unknown.
First Tempera PaintingPeter Hurd, Wyeth’s brother-in-law and also a student of N.C., introduced the medium of tempera to the Wyeth family. The three painters experimented with the technique and the younger Wyeth’s first completed tempera painting was a portrait of Lupe,
his Boston terrier.
Lupe, 1936 tempera on panel, 10 x 7.876 in. Private Collection
October 19, 1937Water Colors by Andrew Wyeth, Macbeth Gallery, New York October 19 – November 1, 1937. First one-man exhibition sold all displayed work by October 21. Robert Macbeth was to be Wyeth’s primary dealer for decades. Correspondence regarding the artist and the gallery can be read at the Archives of
American Art in Washington.
Caldwell’s Island, 1937 watercolor on paper
Young Swede, 1938A tempera portrait of Walt Anderson titled Young Swede is completed. Anderson and Wyeth met when the Wyeths first began travelling to Port Clyde in the 1920s. The native Mainer was to be a model and confidante for the artist until his death in 1987. Click here to view the full-sized image.
April 1939Watercolors by Andrew Wyeth, Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire. The artist’s first solo exhibition at a museum, it included Cat-O-Nine Tails, 1938. Click here to view the record on Currier Museum of Art.
July 12, 1939The artist meets Betsy Merle James, daughter of a newspaper editor and painter from East Aurora, New York. The James family also spent summers in Maine. Betsy wasted no time introducing her new friend to her neighbors Alvaro and Christina Olson. All three would make indelible impressions on young Wyeth.
Andrew Wyeth and Betsy James marry in East Aurora, New York. The newlyweds live in a converted schoolhouse building at the foot of the driveway to Wyeth's childhood home.
The artist establishes his studio in one
room of the house.
Andrew and Betsy Wyeth c. 1940, Chadds Ford.
May 3, 1942May 3 – May 24, Delaware Art Center, Wilmington, Delaware. Wyeth meets the artist Edward Hopper, a fellow realist admired by Wyeth and a juror for this exhibition. The painter Josephine “Jo” Hopper, Edward’s wife, catalogues her husband’s work and explains her process to Betsy Wyeth. Mrs. Wyeth also takes careful records of her husband’s work. These records are the first steps in the archives that anchor the Andrew Wyeth catalogue raisonné,
a work still in progress.
September 1942Magazine cover: “Andrew Wyeth – One of America’s Youngest and Most Talented Artists”. American Artist,
September 1942 p. 17, 18.
February 10, 1943American Realists and Magic Realists, Museum of Modern Art, New York February 10 – March 21, 1943; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo New York April 4 – May 5, 1943; Minneapolis Museum of Art, Minneapolis Minnesota June 1 – 30, 1943; San Francisco Museum of Art, California August 23 – September 19, 1943; Toronto Art Gallery, Canada November 12 – December 19, 1943; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio January 6 – February 6, 1944. Catalogue: American Realists and Magic Realists, Dorothy Miller and Alfred H. Barr, Jr. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1943.
Little Caldwells Island, 1940 tempera on panel
October 19, 1945N. C. Wyeth is killed when his car is struck by a train crossing the road by Kuerner’s farm. “My father’s death… put me in touch with something beyond me, things to think and feel, things that meant everything to me.”
N.C. Wyeth c. 1939 by Edward J. Seal
Winter 1946Winter, 1946 is completed. Work began on the tempera shortly after N.C. was killed, the scene is Kuerner’s Hill near the site of the crash.
Winter, 1946, 1946 tempera on panel
April 8, 1947April 8 – 20, Andrew Wyeth, Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Philadelphia.
May 22 – June 30, Works by Newly Elected Members and By Recipients of Academy and Institute Honors, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. http://artsandletters.org/about/
Four Poster, a 1946 drybrush now in the collection of the Greenville County Museum of Art, was exhibited at both shows.
Christina's WorldCompletes Christina’s World—a tempera portrait of Christina Olson for which Betsy served as the figure model (fig. 3.2). The painting is acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in December.
Christina’s World, 1948 tempera on panel
March 1950"Andrew Wyeth Paints a Picture" by Elaine deKooning appears in Art News p. 38-41, 54-56. This feature on the creation of A Crow Flew By (1950, tempera on panel, now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art offered an in-depth look at the process of painting a tempera, from inspiration through studies and modeling sessions on to completion.
January 1951The artist has surgery to remove a large portion of one lung due to an incurable lung disease. In a matter of weeks, the artist is at work again despite two near death experiences and the necessity to cut through muscles in his painting arm. The painting Trodden Weed was completed in March.
Trodden Weed, 1951 tempera on panel
July 7, 1951Paintings and Drawings by Andrew Wyeth Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH July 7 – August 4, 1951, William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum Rockland, ME August 10 – September 8, 1951. This two venue exhibition is his first major museum retrospective. Catalogue: Paintings and Drawings by Andrew Wyeth, introduction by Samuel M. Green. Portland, ME: Anthoensen Press, 1951 The drawing James Loper, completed this year debuted here.
James Loper, 1951 pencil on paper
M. Knoedler GalleryAndrew Wyeth, M. Knoedler & Company, Inc., New York October 26 – November 14, 1953. The artist joined the M. Knoedler gallery when Macbeth Galleries closed earlier this year. The Maine watercolor below, Roaring Spout, was among the first sold here.
Roaring Spout, 1953 watercolor on paper
First Honorary DoctorateWyeth is awarded his first honorary doctorate degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The following year he received the same honor at Harvard University (below). In the decades to come he would accept 24 more doctorates.
L to R: Nathaniel Wyeth, Betsy Wyeth, Hyde Cox, unknown, Andrew Wyeth, three unknown persons
Monday Morning“Andrew Wyeth”, Lloyd Goodrich. Art In America, October 1, 1955 p. 9-23. The article includes black and white images of many works, accompanied by a description by the artist, including Monday Morning, completed that year. “My wife had placed her clothes basket up against the house to dry in the sun. Somehow it was forgotten. The next morning I looked out to find a soft snow had fallen during the night and some of it had blown in
to the basket.”
Monday Morning, 1955 watercolor on paper
August 12, 1956Andrew Wyeth, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco California July 12 – August 12, 1956; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara California August 28 – September 23, 1956. This one-artist exhibition included several works that had been completed the previous year including the tempera portrait of his older son, Nicholas.
Nicholas, 1955 tempera on panel
Spring 1958The artist purchases and begins restoration of an 18th century mill complex along the Brandywine River in Chadds Ford. An article later that year – “Andrew Wyeth”, Henry C. Pitz. American Artist, November 1958 p. 26-33, 65-66 – features artwork that the artist began on the site before he bought it such as the study below. Raccoon Study, 1958 pencil.
Raccoon Study, 1958 pencil on paper
Early 1959Paints Groundhog Day, tempera on panel. Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
1961With the completion of the mill restoration, the property becomes the family home. The artist retains his schoolhouse studio which will serve him for the rest of his life.
The Granary, 1961 watercolor on paper. Private Collection
November 2, 1962Andrew Wyeth, Temperas, Water Colors and Drawings, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo New York
November 2 – December 9, 1962.
Chester County, 1962 drybrush and watercolor on paper
January 15, 1963Andrew Wyeth – Dry Brush and Pencil Drawings Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge Massachusetts January 15 – February 28, 1963; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York March 14 – April 27, 1963; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC May 19 – June 16, 1963.
The exhibition marked the first public showing of Garret Room, completed the previous year. Catalogue: Andrew Wyeth: Dry Brush and Pencil Drawings, Agnes Mongan, Introduction and Philip Hofer, Forward. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1963.
Garret Room, 1962 drybrush on paper
March 16, 1963Andrew Wyeth – An Exhibition of Watercolors, Temperas and Drawings University of Arizona, Tucson March 16 – April 14, 1963.
Lime Banks, 1962 tempera on panel
Her RoomSummer 1963 – paints Her Room, tempera. Below, the finished work hangs in the room it depicts, above the artist and his son Jamie.
July 1963President John F. Kennedy awards the Medal of Freedom to Wyeth, the first visual artist to receive the award. The presentation by President Lyndon B. Johnson takes place in December.
Time MagazineDecember 27, 1963, Time Magazine features Wyeth on their cover. The portrait reproduced there was painted by Henriette Wyeth Hurd.
May 14, 1965“Andrew Wyeth, an interview”, Richard Meryman and “As One Craftsman to Another”, George P. Hunt, Life, May 14, 1965 p. 92 – 116, 121-122. Meryman became a personal friend and wrote about the artist for the rest of his career. The two are shown here at an exhibition opening at The Whitney Museum of American Art in 1967.
October 5, 1966Andrew Wyeth – Temperas, Watercolors, Dry Brush, Drawings, 1938 – 1966 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia October 5 – November 27, 1966; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Maryland December 11, 1966 – January 22, 1967; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City February 6 – April 12 1967; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Illinois April 21 – June 4, 1967.
Catalogue: Andrew Wyeth: Temperas, Watercolors, Dry Brush, Drawings 1938 to 1966, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. New York: Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 1966. The line at the New York venue of this exhibition circles around the Whitney Museum.
Fall 19671967, Siri Erickson – first drawing, A young Finnish girl from Maine, Siri became the artist’s next major model. She and her father would be painted through the 1970s.
BookBook: Andrew Wyeth, Richard Meryman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1968. – large scale reproductions, available in general and (in 1969) limited editions. Both books featured this popular quote by the artist:
December 26, 1967Alvaro Olson dies the day after Christmas and Christina follows on January 27, 1968. The last work at the Olson home is completed in September 1969 and the artist does not work on the property again.
End of Olsons, 1969 tempera on panel
February 19, 1970Andrew Wyeth
The White House, Washington DC February 19 – March 28, 1970. Though works by Wyeth had hung individually as loans to the residence, this 23-work exhibition was the first one-man show by any artist at the White House. Wyeth is seen here with First Lady Patricia Nixon.
July 17, 1970Andrew Wyeth
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston July 17 – September 6, 1970. My Young Friend, now in the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemeszia Museum in Madrid.
Helga DrawingsHelga Testorf, a neighbor of the Kuerners, meets the artist. He begins drawing her in a secret project that will last into the 1980s.
First Drawing, 1971 pencil © Pacific Sun Trading Company
Wyeth PeopleWyeth People: a portrait of Andrew Wyeth as he is seen by his friends and neighbors, Gene Logsdon. New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1971. Reissued by Swallow Press, 2003. Logsdon visited and interviewed several of the artist’s models, including Karl Kuerner.
The Kuerners, 1971 drybrush on paper
June 1971The Brandywine River Museum of Art opens. An integral part of the Brandywine Conservancy, an art and environment preserving organization, the museum features artwork of American illustration and the Brandywine Valley, including the Wyeths.
At the opening celebration, the artist is flanked by his mother Carolyn Wyeth and brother-in-law Peter Hurd.
March 15, 1973Mrs. N.C. Wyeth, Andrew’s mother, dies at age 86. Night Mare, completed this year, reveals mortality on the artist’s mind.
Night Mare, 1973 watercolor on paper, 20 x 39 in. Private Collection
June 16, 1973The Art of Andrew Wyeth
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco California June 16 –
September 3, 1973.
Catalogue by Wanda Corn, New York Graphic Society Ltd., Greenwich, CT. The tempera portrait Nogeeshik (1972) makes its debut here.
Nogeeshik, 1973 tempera on panel, 24.625 x 21.625 in.
Spring 1974Andrew Wyeth The Lefevre Gallery, London. May 23 – June 22, 1974 – catalogue by Perry T. Rathbone published by Joh. Enschede en
Andrew Wyeth National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo April 6 – May 19; The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan. May 25 – June 30, 1974 – catalogue published by Nihon Keizai
Installation view of "Works of Andrew Wyeth", 1974, Courtesy of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
October 16, 1976Two Worlds of Andrew Wyeth: Kuerners and Olsons, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York October 16, 1976 – February 6, 1977. Catalogue by Thomas Hoving. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Two Worlds was the first solo exhibition by a living artist to be presented by the Met. Wyeth and then-director Thomas Hoving would collaborate for years to come.
May 1977Elected to Associate Membership of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Institut de France, Paris. Wyeth makes his only overseas trip to accept the honor in May 1978. He and John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) remain the only two Americans ever welcomed into the Académie.
Summer 1978Andrew and Betsy Wyeth purchase Southern Island. Buildings extant on the island include a lighthouse and distinctive bell tower. The island becomes the setting of many of Andrew’s Maine paintings including Sea Running.
Sea Running, 1978 tempera on panel
January 6, 1979Karl Kuerner dies at age 80. Wyeth created the final portrait of Karl during his illness, completing Spring in 1978.
Tempera on panel, Brandywine River Museum of Art
June 6, 1980Andrew Wyeth Royal Academy of the Arts, London June 6 – August 31, 1980. This was the first exhibition by a living American artist at the Royal Academy.
Bird in the House, 1979 watercolor on paper, 29.5 x 21.5 in. Private Collection
December 2, 1980Temperas, Aquarelles, Drybrush, Dessins Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris December 2, 1980 – January 31, 1981.
Shuttered, 1980 watercolor 21.5 x 30 in. Private Collection
1982Christina’s World and Wyeth at Kuerners by Betsy James Wyeth are released. Each book of reproductions highlights artwork done on the Kuerner or Olson farms. Many informal studies of each of these favorite locations are arranged to allow the reader to follow the artist’s artistic method from inspiration to the final version of the work. Published in Boston by Houghton Mifflin Co.
May 24, 1987The Helga Pictures National Gallery of Art, Washington DC May 24 – September 27; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston October 28, 1987 – January 3, 1988; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston January 31 – April 4, 1988; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco August 13 – October 16, 1988; Detroit Institute of Arts November 13, 1988 – January 22, 1989; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York June 19 – September 18, 1989.
Catalogue: Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, John Wilmerding. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987.
July 31, 1987Longtime friend and model Walt Anderson dies. The portrait of him is completed this summer is titled Weatherbeaten.
Weather beaten, 1987 watercolor on paper 13.75 x 11 in. Private Collection
October 4, 1990President George H. W. Bush awards Wyeth the Congressional Gold Medal, which was never before granted to a visual artist. The portrait on the medal was based on a drawing by Jamie Wyeth.
December 1990“Wyeth Since Helga”, Thomas Hoving. Connoisseur, December 1990 p. 108-119. Few interviewers could coax a story from Wyeth better than Hoving. The artist’s latest work is discussed in detail here, including Widow’s Walk.
Widow's Walk, 1990 tempera on panel
September 19, 1991The Olson House is gifted to the Farnsworth Art Museum by its current owner. It will be opened to the public for seasonal tours in 1993.
February 3, 1995Japanese retrospective Autobiography runs at Aichi Prefectural Museum, Nagoya, Japan February 3 – April 2, 1995; Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan April 15 – June 4, 1995; Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukushima-City, Japan June 6 – July 16, 1995. It’s one US venue is at Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri September 24 – November 26, 1995. US Catalogue: Andrew Wyeth: Autobiography, Thomas Hoving. Boston: Bulfinch Press, Little Brown and Co., 1995 (Japanese edition below)
October 1996Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life, biography by Richard Meryman.
New York: Harper Collins, 1996.
1997The Olson Collection is purchased by Mr. Katsushige Suzaki, a Japanese businessman and patron of the arts. The collection consists of studies for major works done at the Olsons. Mr. Susaki realized their potential to inspire and instruct students at his Marunuma Art Park in Asaka, Japan.
Mr. Wyeth and Mr. Susaki meet at the Olson House in Maine.
July 13, 1997CBS News Sunday morning, July 13, 1997. Andrew Wyeth is interviewed by Charles Osgood on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. Filming took place on Benner Island, the setting of the watercolor The Pond, completed that summer.
The Pond, 1997 watercolor on paper, 27.5 x 39.25 in. Private Collection
May 28, 1998Landscape exhibition at the Whitney Unknown Terrain: Landscapes of Andrew Wyeth Whitney Museum of American Art, New York May 28 – August 30, 1998; Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg Russia October 18, 1998 –
January 10, 1999.
Unknown Terrain: The Landscapes of Andrew Wyeth, Beth Venn and Adam D. Weinberg with contribution by Michael Kammen. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998.
February 3, 2001Close Friends Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson Mississippi February 3 – May 13, 2001; Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville South Carolina June 6 – August 26, 2001; Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, Savannah Georgia September 13 – December 31, 2001. Catalogue: Andrew Wyeth: Close Friends, Andrew and Betsy Wyeth. Seattle: Marquand Books, Inc., 2001.
November 12, 2005Memory & Magic
High Museum of American Art, Atlanta November 12 – February 26, 2006; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania March 29 – July 16, 2006. Catalogue: Andrew Wyeth: Memory & Magic, Anne Knutson et al. New York: Rizzoli, 2005.
March 11, 2006Master Drawings from the Artist’s Collection Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford Pennsylvania March 11 – July 15, 2006. Catalogue by Henry Adams, published by Brandywine Conservancy Chadds Ford, PA
November 15, 2007President George W. Bush presents the artist with the National Medal of Arts.
November 8, 2007Emotion and Creation Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo Japan November 8 – December 23, 2008; Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya Japan January 4 – March 8, 2009; Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukushima Japan March 17 – May 10, 2009. Catalogue: Andrew Wyeth: Emotion and Creation, Shuji Takahashi et al. Nagoya Japan: Chunichi Shimbun, 2008.
January 16, 2009Mr. Wyeth died in his sleep in Chadds Ford January 16. He was buried in a private cemetery in Maine.
June 30, 2011Olson House in Maine and Kuerner Farm in Chadds Ford are designated as National Historic Landmarks. The Olson House can be visited through self-guided tours via the Farnsworth Art Museum based in Rockland. The Kuerner Farm tour is available at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford.
Brandywine River Museum of Art
November 10, 2011The Wyeths: Three Generations of American Art opens at the Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris to run through February 12, 2012.
April 21, 2012Andrew Wyeth In China opens in Beijing on April 21. It travels to in Hong Kong before closing in New York at Christie’s Private Sale Galleries.
July 2012The artist’s studio is opened to the public through the Brandywine River Museum of Art. The building was given to the museum in 2010 and was restored to the time that the artist lived there with Betsy and his young boys. The studio recreates the work on Raccoon.
Wyeth – Christina’s WorldWyeth – Christina’s World, Laura Hoptman. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012.
October 2013Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait, Richard Meryman. Washington DC: National Gallery of Art/D.A.P., 2013.
December 29, 2013BBC Scotland airs Michael Palin in Wyeth’s World, a documentary for European audiences directed by Eleanor Yule and produced by Franny Moyle and Mhari McNeill. Filming at the Chadds Ford Wyeth office is seen below. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03njgvc
May 24, 2014Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In is on view at the National Gallery of Art,
October 18 – 19th, 2014October 18 – 19th During the run of Looking Out, Looking In, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) hosted “Andrew Wyeth in Context: Contemporary Art and Scholarship”, a conference at the National Gallery presenting a number of papers on various aspects of the artist’s work. The study continued for a second day, travelling as a scholars’ symposium to the galleries and historic properties of the Brandywine River
Museum of Art.
November 7, 2015November 7, 2015 – February 7, 2016 Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio opens at the Denver Museum of Art. The exhibition featured the father and son together, exploring their working methods and technique. It travels to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemeszia March 1 - June 19 and is the artist’s first exhibition in Spain.
2017This year marks the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth. For a list of exhibitions and related celebrations, see our Exhibitions Page. On July 12th, the U.S. Post Office will issue a sheet of 12 stamps, each featuring a detail of
a different painting.