You are here

Brandywine featured in new PBS 'American Masters' documentary about the life of Andrew Wyeth and the world he painted

Brandywine featured in new PBS 'American Masters' documentary about the life of Andrew Wyeth and the world he painted

Chadds Ford, PA, August 30, 2018 — In a brand-new Andrew Wyeth documentary coming soon to PBS American Masters, go behind the scenes of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, its historic Wyeth properties and collections, and explore the area that three generations of Wyeth artists called home. Airing on September 7, 2018, WYETH: The Life of Andrew Wyeth Told in Bold Strokes captures a complete portrait of Wyeth’s world in stunning detail with unprecedented access to the artist’s work, archival materials, and interviews with family members, friends and scholars—including those from the Brandywine.

WYETH tells the story of one of America’s best-known twentieth-century artists. In highlighting Wyeth’s remarkable life and career, the documentary beautifully captures the Brandywine River Museum of Art and its surrounding properties, including footage shot in the artist’s studio, childhood home, his father N. C. Wyeth’s studio, and Kuerner Farm—a major source of inspiration during Wyeth’s career. The Brandywine is the only location where visitors can see famous works by three generations of Wyeths—N. C., Andrew and Jamie—and then step into the worlds they lived and painted with guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio, N. C. Wyeth House & Studio, and Kuerner Farm—all National Historic Landmarks.

Andrew Wyeth painted many of his most important works of art in his Chadds Ford studio. Given to the Brandywine by the artist’s wife, Betsy James Wyeth, the studio provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience this very personal space where Wyeth painted from 1940 until 2008. Thousands of works of art are associated with this studio, inspired by the people, architecture and landscapes of Chadds Ford. The studio still houses the furnishings, library and collections acquired by the artist, as well as examples of the art materials he used throughout his career. Guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio introduce visitors to all aspects of his career, enhancing the Museum’s gallery experience.

On tours of N. C. Wyeth’s House & Studio, visitors are immersed in the childhood home of Andrew Wyeth where his artist father, N. C., nourished a family of extraordinary creativity. N. C.  Wyeth was well known during the 20th century for his bold, imaginative illustrations that brought new characterizations to classic stories such as Treasure Island and The Boy’s King Arthur. His house and studio, located five minutes from the Museum, retain much of their original character. The main studio, with its spectacular Palladian-style north window, still contains many of the props that were essential to the work of an illustrator, including a birch-bark canoe hanging from the rafters and a collection of firearms. A full-size mural painting, displayed in a soaring 1923 addition, helps tell the story of Wyeth’s career. The house, with its country furnishings, reveals a more intimate picture of family life. Guided tours of both properties introduce visitors to the various aspects of Wyeth’s accomplished career and to the other members of his talented family.

For more than 70 years, the Kuerner Farm was a major source of inspiration to Andrew Wyeth. Beginning with his earliest painting of the farm in 1932 at the age of 15, Wyeth found vital subjects in its people, animals, buildings and landscapes for nearly 1,000 works of art. Referencing reproductions of the artist’s work, docent-led tours to the Kuerner Farm provide an in-depth study of the major paintings in Wyeth’s oeuvre that depict Kuerner farm subjects, contrasting the artist’s compositions with actual sites on the property. The tour includes the farmhouse and barn, and significantly expands a visitor’s understanding of Andrew Wyeth’s creative process.

Guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio, N. C. Wyeth House & Studio, and the Kuerner Farm—all National Historic Landmarks­—are available daily (for an additional fee) from April 4 through November 18; advance reservations are recommended.

WYETH premieres Friday, September 7 on PBS (check local listings for times). The documentary will be available to stream beginning September 8 on pbs.org/americanmasters and on PBS apps.  It also will be available for purchase at the Brandywine's Museum Shop on DVD.

About the Documentary:

WYETH tells the story of one of America’s most popular, but least understood, artists—Andrew Wyeth. Coming from a family of successful artists, including his commanding father, N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth was raised to be an artist. Unprecedented access to archival footage from the Wyeth family reveals his early immersion in a creative world.

Andrew Wyeth exhibitions consistently broke attendance records at the most prestigious art museums across the country. Detailing the stunning drawings and powerful portraits created in Pennsylvania and on the coast of Maine, WYETH shows the artist’s mastery of the form and why his work appealed to audiences around the world. He confidently continued to paint the people and places he knew, undeterred by the dramatic evolution of the art world. His sensational paintings of Helga Testorf landed cover stories in both Time and Newsweek. Interviews with family and friends—including Helga—demonstrate the effect on Andrew of living and working in the public eye.

Now, with the distance of time, art critics and historians are rediscovering and reinterpreting his work. Layers of complexity in the art are revealed and celebrated by some of the most preeminent scholars of American art. Amidst these moving testimonies is the work. The stunning drawings, studies, paintings and powerful portraits that capture the “frozen motion” that Wyeth was seeking throughout his life. WYETH builds a life, layer by layer, much in the way Andrew Wyeth created his exquisite master paintings–meticulous study followed by layer upon layer of tempera.

About the Brandywine River Museum of Art:

The Brandywine River Museum of Art features an outstanding collection of American art housed in a 19th-century mill building with a dramatic steel and glass addition overlooking the banks of the Brandywine. The Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), and is located on Route 1 in Chadds Ford, PA. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors ages 65 and over, $6 for students and children ages 6 and up; free for children 5 and younger and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art members. Guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio, N. C. Wyeth House & Studio, and the Kuerner Farm—all National Historic Landmarks­—are available daily (for an additional fee) from April 4 through November 18; advance reservations are recommended. For more information, call 610.388.2700 or visit brandywinemuseum.org. The Museum is one of the two programs of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art.

About the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art:

The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art preserves and promotes the natural and cultural connections between the area’s beautiful landscape, historic sites, and important artists. The Conservancy protects the lands throughout the Brandywine Valley, developing new conservation approaches and assuring access to majestic open spaces and dependable water supplies for generations to come. The Museum of Art presents and collects historic and contemporary works of American art, engaging and exciting visitors of all ages through an array of exhibitions and programs. The Brandywine unites the inspiring experiences of art and nature, enhancing the quality of life in its community and among its diverse audiences.

 

# # #

Presenting Wyeth & American Art