[Spanish Galleon in Chesapeake Bay, oil on canvas, 36 x 42"]
NEWELL CONVERS WYETH (1882-1945)
had a huge zest for life. He carried this enthusiasm through a tremendous
number of paintings, more than 3,000 illustrations, numerous vast murals,
and a great many still life and landscape paintings.
Howard Pyle was his teacher and idol. Wyeth emulated Pyle's approach as nearly as possible, painting much of the same kind of subject matter; medieval life, pirates, Americana. To this he added his own dramatic picture concepts and rich, decorative color. Outstanding in this phase of his work were the more than twenty-five books he illustrated for Chrles Scribner's Sons Classic series. The popularity of these books is such that, even after decades, most of them are still in print.
After painting in oils for many years, Wyeth turned to the egg tempera medium and also began to paint more for exhibitions. He encouraged an interest in the arts in his children, giving them every opportunity for self expression. His daughters Henriette and Caroline, are both accomplished painters; Ann, a composer, and his son, Andrew, is a famous painter. His grandson, Jamie, is also an excellent painter in his own right. The October, 1965, issue of American Heritage contains an excellent article by Henry C. Pitz about the career of Wyeth and his family.
At the time of his tragic death in a railway crossing accident, N. C. Wyeth was one of America's best loved painters.