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N.C. Wyeth in Maine


The exhibition N.C. Wyeth in Maine will open December 9, 2001 and run through April 27, 2003, in the N.C. Wyeth Gallery of the MBNA Center for the Wyeth Family in Maine at the Farnsworth Art Museum, featuring approximately 13 works completed by Wyeth during his summers in Maine.

A New Englander by birth, Wyeth felt a connection to the rugged Maine coastline and the strong people who lived here. He brought his family from Pennsylvania to Maine for 25 summers, a tradition that continues with the Wyeths. The paintings Wyeth completed in Maine are imbued with his love of the land and sea and the romantic spirit he drew from both. (left: N.C. Wyeth, "Sounding Sea," 1934, oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 52 1/4 inches)

N.C. Wyeth took his first painting trip to Port Clyde, Maine, in 1910 with fellow student at the Pyle School of Art, Sidney M. Chase. Ten years later, he purchased the Captain Norris Seavy House in Port Clyde, which he later renamed "Eight Bells" after a painting by Winslow Homer. Bright and Fair -- Eight Bells (1936) is Wyeth's depiction of his summer home, showcasing the strong summer light and fantastic cloud formations so often seen on the Maine coast.

For the most part, Wyeth used his summer trips to Maine as an escape from the pressures of illustration work. Here, he was free to take time to explore his ideas fully, often taking months, not weeks, to complete a painting and occasionally painting several different versions of the same scene in different sizes or media.

Wyeth was very interested in the paintings of Winslow Homer, who had painted the Maine coast at Prout's Neck from the late 1880s to his death in 1910, and his influence on Wyeth can be seen in works such as Cannibal Shore (1930). Wyeth also explored more modernistic techniques, prismatic or expressionistic abstraction of forms as seen in Untitled (Lobsterman), as well as experimenting with newly developed colors that were just becoming available to the art market.

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For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 6/3/11

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