Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Wyeths: America's Artists

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts currently has an an exhibition of works by three generations of artists in the Wyeth family - N.C. Wyeth, an illustrator and painter; Andrew Wyeth, known by many as "America's Painter;" Andrew's sisters, Henriette Wyeth Hurd and Carolyn Wyeth; and Andrew's son Jamie Wyeth.

The exhibition includes 90 works of art by the Wyeths. The paintings (oils, tempera, and watercolor) and drawings are on loan from the Farnsworth Art Museum, Brandywine River Museum, Terra Foundation for American Art, and three private lenders.

Jim and I attended this exhibit (in February? can't remember), and really enjoyed it. We both particularly appreciated the pieces by N.C. and Andrew Wyeth. (I looked at the original oils by N.C., and the illustrations in the books, and wondered how the printer went from one to the other.)

Jim liked King Edward, an illustration N.C. Wyeth painted for the book The Scottish Chiefs.

 (If you live in Kalamazoo, you may have seen a banner with this illustration, hanging from one of the downtown buildings, to promote the exhibition.)

My favorite was Her Room, by Andrew Wyeth. When I saw it, the sunlight on the door took my breath away: it looked so real. I guess that is what I like about Andrew Wyeth's work: it looks 'real,' but not like a photo; it looks like what I might see when out walking Bonnie.

Another that Jim liked was N.C.Wyeth's Bright and Fair - Eight Bells.

We are fortunate to have the KIA here in town. They've presented some terrific exhibits over the years, and I've been grateful for the opportunity to see pieces that you might not expect to find in a town this size - unless that town were Kalamazoo!

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