Friday, January 16, 2009
Andrew Wyeth, 'Christina's World' painter, dies
(CNN) -- Andrew Wyeth, the American painter perhaps best known for his painting of a young woman in a field, "Christina's World," has died, according to an official with the Brandywine River Museum in Pennsylvania.
Andrew Wyeth received the National Medal of Arts from President Bush in November 2007.
Wyeth, 91, died in his sleep Thursday night at his home near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to Lora Englehart, public relations coordinator for the museum.
The acclaimed artist painted landscapes and figure subjects and worked mostly in tempera and watercolor.
He was widely celebrated inside and outside of the art world. President John F. Kennedy awarded him a Presidential Freedom Award and President Richard Nixon held a dinner and a private exhibition at the White House, according to a biography on the Ask/Art Web site.
Wyeth, who lived in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and Maine, "has been enormously popular and critically acclaimed since his first one-man show in 1937," according to a biography in InfoPlease.
His main subjects were the places and people of Chadds Ford and Cushing, Maine.
"Christina's World," painted in 1948, shows a disabled Maine neighbor who drags herself through a field toward her house in the distance. The painting, displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, has been regarded as Wyeth's most popular.
"His 'Helga' pictures, a large group of intimate portraits of a neighbor, painted over many years, were first shown publicly in 1986," the InfoPlease biography says. Those were painted in Pennsylvania.
Wyeth, the youngest child of painter N.C. Wyeth, formally studied art with his father as a teen, "drawing in charcoal and painting in oils, the media of choice for N.C. Wyeth. It was during the family's annual summer vacations in Port Clyde, Maine, that Andrew was able to experiment with other media to find his own artistic voice," according to a biography in the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine.