Andrew Wyeth’s Private World

 

“I am working so please do not disturb. I do not sign autographs.”

This sign greets visitors to Andrew Wyeth’s former home and studio just up the road from the Brandywine Valley Museum. It’s the first indication that much remains just as the artist left it after he died in 2009 at the age of 91: family photographs, his boyhood collection of toy soldiers, and old 16-millimeter prints of favorite movies such as “The Big Parade” and “Captain Blood.”

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In his modest studio, naturally lit by a huge north-facing window, brushes and easels are arranged as if Wyeth had just set them down, and sketches of animals and his signature stark landscapes hang or lie on the floor in various states of completion.

The museum offers hour-long tours, April through November, of Andrews’s home/studio (separate from the admission fee) from April–November (there are also separate tours of N.C. Wyeth’s home and studio and nearby Kuerner Farm, inspiration for many of Andrew’s paintings). Take one or all of the tours, then check out the Wyeth paintings on display at the museum armed with new insights on the creative process of these great American artists. Follow this up with a bowl of local mushroom bisque in the museum’s window-walled cafe overlooking Brandywine Creek. It’s arguably the most welcoming spot in the world to settle in with a book and lose yourself in Wyeth’s somber, pastoral world.

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