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Brandywine River Museum Presents Farm Work by Jamie Wyeth Exhibition

The Brandywine River Museum presents Farm Work by Jamie Wyeth an exhibition on view on view through September 11, 2011. The exhibition surveys five decades of his lively depictions of farm animals, equipment, buildings and landscape. Wyeth’s depictions of farm work and life combine his artistry, wit and sense of wonder.

“I always said that if born in New York, I would be painting cabs or something, but it happens that I was raised in an area where there were farms,” says Jamie Wyeth. “There are wonderful objects on the farm and things about farm life, so that is where the attraction is.”

Point Lookout, the farm on the Brandywine that Wyeth moved to in the late 1960s after his marriage to Phyllis Mills, has been the primary location for many of his paintings, but other farms have had a strong impact as well. His earliest farm works were painted as a teenager on trips to the Olson farm in Maine that was made famous by his father, Andrew. In Chadds Ford during the same years, he made countless visits to a nearby farm where he met Den-Den, the pig who became the subject of his life-size Portrait of Pig. Wyeth painted the portrait at Point Lookout where he took the pig to live in order to save her from the butcher. Den-Den was joined by a coterie of animals that grew over the years to include chickens, geese, goats, cattle, horses, and wild birds. All have been subjects of paintings by Wyeth, who says, “Animals just intrigue the hell out of me, really much more than people.”

Other aspects of the farm have also held a strong attraction for the artist. Barns, plows, saws, buckets, and bales of hay intrigue him as ordinary objects and strong shapes. The farm is a magical association with objects that are reflected in his interpretations. He describes the painting Tin Woodsman as being informed by The Wizard of Oz, saying, “Through this whole farm obsession of mine, I sort of viewed myself as a latter day Dorothy – my life is filled with real and imagined characters.”

Farm Work by Jamie Wyeth is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on this subject. It includes over 70 works drawn from private and public collections across the country. The accompanying catalogue is fully illustrated in color and contains extensive commentary by the artist.

The exhibition is supported by The Davenport Family Foundation Fund for Exhibitions. The fully illustrated catalogue is made possible by a generous grant from The Davenport Family Foundation.

Image: © Jamie Wyeth (born 1946), Basket Hook, c. 1981, combined mediums and drybrush on paper, 19 ½ x 24 ½ inches, collection of Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Wyeth.

The Brandywine River Museum is located on U.S. Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The museum is open daily, except Christmas Day, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $6 for seniors, students and children ages 6 to 12; and free for members and children under six. Museum admission is free on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to noon (except during the Annual Antiques Show on Memorial Day weekend).For more information, please call 610-388-2700 or visit

The Brandywine River Museum is a program of the Brandywine Conservancy, which has permanently protected more than 44,000 acres, including 20,000 acres of farmland.

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