Wyeths: Three generations of American art - picture preview

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The Independent Culture

An exhibition of work by three generations of America's famous artist family, the Wyeths, opens at a gallery in Paris later this year.

Featuring paintings, drawings, and illustrations by N.C. Wyeth, his son, Andrew Wyeth and grandson, Jamie Wyeth, this exhibition is drawn from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Collection, with additional pieces from distinguished museums, the private collections of the Wyeth family, and other lenders.

Many of these works have never been on view in Paris and span almost one hundred years of creative output.

"My brother and I accompanying our father to Paris for his induction into the French Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1977 remains such a strong memory after all these years. And now, to be returning to that great city with his works, my grandfather's works, and my own is indeed another experience that I eagerly look forward to," said Jamie Wyeth.

N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), the patriarch of the family, was one of America’s finest and most widely-loved illustrators, whose outstanding images for classic tales such as Treasure Island, Rip Van Winkle and Robinson Crusoe shaped the imaginative life of a generation of children the world over.

In 1977, Andrew became the first American artist since John Singer Sargent to be elected to the French Académie des Beaux-Arts. A year earlier, he had received an honour never before granted to a living artist: a major retrospective at one of America’s most prestigious museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His famous painting, Christina’s World, 1948, in the Museum of Modern Art, New York is generally regarded as one of the most widely known American paintings of the 20th century. Andrew died in January 2009 at the age of 91.

Born in Chadds Ford in 1946, Jamie Wyeth is a contemporary realist painter. His early instruction in draftsmanship came under the guidance and in the studio of his aunt, Carolyn Wyeth, where he was first drawn to painting in oil, rather than the drier medium of tempera favoured by his father. Jamie later studied anatomy in a New York City hospital morgue and also worked for a time in Andy Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory, where the two artists formed a lasting friendship. Portraits of the pop artist by Jamie are among the highlights of the collection.

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Wyeths: Three Generations of American Art is at the Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris from 10 November 2011 - 12 February 2012