Painter Andrew Wyeth certainly put his distinctive stamp on American art, and now the U.S. Postal Service is planning to recognize his extraordinary impact.
The Postal Service announced this week that it would issue a pane of stamps in 2017 inspired by Wyeth’s art to commemorate the centennial of his birth. Wyeth was born and spent his life in Chadds Ford, according to a press release from the Brandywine River Museum of Art.
The museum features an extensive display of American art, including work by three generations of the Wyeth family. It also offers tours of the studios where both Andrew and his father, N.C. Wyeth, worked. The official dedication ceremony for the stamps will take place at the museum on Wednesday, July 12, at 10 a.m., 100 years to the day that Andrew Wyeth was born. This event is free and open to the public.
The pane of Forever® stamps features details of 12 the following Andrew Wyeth paintings: Alvaro and Christina, 1968; Big Room, 1988; The Carry, 2003; Christina’s World, 1948; Frostbitten, 1962; North Light, 1984; Sailor’s Valentine, 1985; Soaring, 1942-50; Spring Fed, 1967; My Studio, 1974; Wind from the Sea, 1947; and Young Bull, 1960. Derry Noyes served as art director and designer for the stamp sheet, the release said.
Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) maintained a primary residence in Chadds Ford while typically spending each summer and early fall in Maine. In both places, he was inspired by the lives, houses, and personal belongings of the people around him, finding particular interest in the German immigrants on a nearby Chadds Ford farm, painting portraits of them and views in and around their home, the release said.
By the 1940s, the tendencies that define much of his work were taking shape, among them a focus on death and loss; the uses of places and objects to serve as stand-ins for people, and intense and unsentimental scrutiny of nature, and an often startling austerity and stark lack of color. Rather than depict nature with photographic accuracy, Wyeth used painting to convey emotions that were difficult to put into words. His work often reflected memories, associations, and echoes from his personal life, including his own distinctive sense of the wondrous and the strange.
The exhibition “Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect,” which will be on view from June 24 through Sept. 17 at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, represents the first chronological retrospective of the artist’s career since the 1970s. The exhibition, co-organized by Seattle Art Museum, will include more than100 of his finest paintings and works on papers selected from major museums and private collections. The exhibition will be on view at the Seattle Museum of Art starting in October 2017, according to the release.
Guided tours of Andrew Wyeth’s studio are available seasonally, from April through mid-November. Wyeth painted in the studio from 1940 until 2008. Visitors may also tour the Kuerner Farm, which inspired nearly 1,000 works of art by Andrew Wyeth, as well as the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio. All are National Historic Landmarks.
The Brandywine River Museum of Art is 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 (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors ages 65 and over, $6 for students and children ages 6 to 12; free for children 5 and younger and members. The museum is located on Route 1 in Chadds Ford. For more information, call 610-388-2700 or visit brandywinemuseum.org.