Get a peek into the private life of Andrew Wyeth

July 15, 2012 5:49:13 AM PDT
For the first time ever, visitors can get a peek into the private world of one of the most popular artists in the history of American art.

It is an old schoolhouse where Andrew Wyeth lived and painted nearly all of his major works from 1940 until 2008, the fall before he died. Wyeth's widow turned the building over to the Brandywine River Museum and it's now open for public tours.

"This room was the original school house. The building was built in 1875 to be a schoolhouse in SE PA ," said Christine Podmaniczky, Associate Curator of the Brandywine River Museum.

There is a studio where Andrew Wyeth painted thousands of works. Visitors can see his creative process and they can see how he painted in the tempera style using egg yolks mixed with pigment. It's a room only his family and closest friends have seen.

"One of the things that Andrew Wyeth protected was his privacy and when he painted, his door was normally closed," said Podmaniczky.

Wyeth was greatly influenced by swashbuckling movies. He collected military uniforms and nearly 900 military miniatures. It was in the home's living room that son, Jamie Wyeth, also painted from 1961-1968.

"He painted all of his early oil paintings here including his portrait of President Kennedy," said Podmaniczky.

The library is filled with fencing items, books and movie reels?the visuals that fed Andrew Wyeth's creative sense. The kitchen was the heart of family, where Wyeth would hang his new works.

"And this is where friends or family would come in and discuss it where he would show it," added Podmaniczky.

In celebration of the opening of Wyeth's studio, the Brandywine River Museum has an exhibit of works created there.

To tour the home and studio, you need to purchase an advanced timed ticket. For that, go to Brandywine Museum.


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