Information On N.C. Wyeth

Brief biography of N.C. Wyeth, a man considered today to be one of the greatest American illustrators.

N.C. Wyeth, otherwise known as Newell Convers Wyeth, is considered one of the greatest American illustrators. He set the pace as the first of three generations of Wyeth artists. His work is celebrated in many publications, galleries, museums and other artist venues across the globe.

Wyeth, born October 22, 1882, was raised in Neeham, Massachusetts. There, he developed an early appreciation for nature, romantic art and literature. His mother, Henriette, offered a lot of encouragement to her son as to becoming an artist. His father, Andrew Newell Wyeth, preferred he pursued a career in drafting, rather than becoming a painter. As a compromise, he was sent to school for both. Howard Pyle also taught Wyeth for a two-year period of time between 1902 and 1904 in Wilmington, Delaware. He met his wife, Carolyn Bockus, the year he completed his teachings under Pyle.

He and Carolyn marry in 1906. Thereafter, they have five children together: Henriette, Nat, Carolyn, Ann and Andrew. All of their children pick up the talent for one art form or another ranging from composing music to teaching art lessons to inventing.

During his career, Wyeth completed over three thousand works. Some of his most famous commissions include illustrations for such famous publications as Kidnapped, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island and Robin Hood. He spent a decade, between 1925 and 1935, completing some of his most exciting pieces of work. Of it were several experimental pieces that were considered much more daring than his commissioned work.

N.C. Wyeth began homeschooling his son, Andrew, during 1932 due to his failing health. Despite the challenges brought on by the school administration and the expense of teaching from the home, Wyeth was able to complete his son's education as his teacher. Following his traditional education, Andrew Wyeth continued to work under his father's artistic guidance. This all took place in their home in Maine named "Eight Bells" after the famous Winslow Homer painting.

Wyeth's studio in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania, built 1911, was always filled with props and other objects waiting to be used in one of his pieces of work. There you will find a work in progress named "First Farmer of the Land," resting on a virtually undisturbed easel. He began working on this piece for Country Gentlemen Magazine the day before his death, according to the date found marked on the palette.

N.C. Wyeth died in the company of his grandson Newell, Nat's son, October 19, 1945. His car stalled with the two of them in it on some railroad tracks. A train in route struck them and were both killed instantly as a result. Though he is no longer physically part of this Earth, his memory shall never fade due to all he has left behind. He daughter, Carolyn, who occupied his house, left the house the way he kept everything. This shrine remains untouched, as does his studio. Because he never had a fixed position for any of his belongings, really, restorers have been relying on family photos to preserve this environment as authentically as possible.

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