N.C. Wyeth's Island Funeral

N. C. Wyeth, Island Funeral, 1939, egg tempera and oil on hardboard, 44 1/2 x 52 3/8 in. Brandywine River Museum of Art, Gift of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, 2017

For the first time in nearly 50 years, a local exhibition examines in-depth the entirety of N.C. Wyeth's multifaceted career as a painter and illustrator.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine are co-organizers of the exhibition, which is now in place in Chadds Ford.

N.C Wyeth was the patriarch of a family of artists - father of Andrew Wyeth, grandfather of Jamie Wyeth. "N.C. Wyeth: New Perspectives" follows his career path, from his early western paintings to one of his final tempura paintings.

More than 70 of his paintings and illustrations, many held by various museums and in private collections, are part of the current exhibition. 

"No matter what he was doing, whether it was a commission for an illustrated book or whether it was a landscape of his beloved Chadds Ford, just the joy he took in painting - he was a joyful painter, creator if you will," Brandywine River Museum curator of N.C. Wyeth collections and historic properties Christine Podmaniczky said. "I think you see that in the illustrations, in the landscapes...just the love of painting."

Included in the exhibition is N.C. Wyeth's Island Funeral, which was donated by the DuPont Company to the museum two years ago. It was displayed at The Hotel DuPont. 

A mural that hung at WSFS is also part of the exhibition.

"I think one of the things you really get from this exhibition is a profound range and depth of vision, and a lot of different ways to make a painting," Portland Museum of Art Deputy Director and Chief Curator Jessica May said. "I think that reflects an artist who is profoundly inventive, profoundly curious and profoundly hard-working."

"N.C. Wyeth: New Persepctives" continues at the Brandywine River Museum of Art through September 15th.

The same exhibition will later travel to the Portland Museum of Art.