Wyeth, Andrew

Wyeth, Andrew Biography

American painter, noted for his interpretations of the people and the austere rural landscapes of Pennsylvania and Maine. Andrew Wyeth was born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and was trained by his father, the artist Newell Convers Wyeth. Andrew Wyeth held his first one-man show at the age of 20 and scored an immediate success. His colors are predominantly subtle shades of brown and gray. In his compositions he displays technical brilliance, realism, and affection for his subjects. Among Wyeth's best-known works are Christina's World (1948, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), Her Room (1963, Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Me.), and Spring Fed (1967, W. E. Weiss, Jr., Collection).

Art historians have often characterized Wyeth's work as sentimental and antithetical to the abstract trajectory of 20th-century art. In the face of such criticism, Wyeth's work has always been popular. He was the first painter to receive the Presidential Freedom Award, which President John F. Kennedy conferred on him in 1963. In 1977 Wyeth became the first American artist since John Singer Sargent to be elected to the French Acad?mie des Beaux-Arts, and in the next year he became an honorary member of the Soviet Academy of the Arts. In 1980 he became the first living American artist to be elected to Britain's Royal Academy.

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