Artist Spotlight: N.C. Wyeth

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Monday, March 23rd, 2015

N.C. Wyeth, one of the most successful illustrators of all time, discovered his artistic ability at a young age. By the time he was 20 years old, he began working for the magazine, the Saturday Evening Post. They sent him to study southwest culture and for a few months, he lived among the Native Americans and herded sheep. During his stay, Wyeth would sketch and paint pictures illustrating what life was like among the Native Americans, opening the door for his storied legacy.

Throughout Wyeth’s entire career, much of his art embraced the American Western theme, filled with Cowboys, Native Americans, guns and gold miners. He was also known to illustrate children’s books, creating unique visuals of pirates and knights. From 1903 until his unfortunate death in 1945, Wyeth had set new standards for illustrators in style, technique, and imagination, creating living characters from an author’s imaginary story.

Born: October 22, 1882, Needham, MA

Died: October 19, 1945, Chadds Ford, PA

Famous work: Treasure Island (1911)

Facts about Wyeth:

  • Traveled to Wilmington, Delaware in October 1902, to join the Howard Pyle School of Art.
  • His first commissioned illustration appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1903.
  • In 1907 he was heralded in Outing Magazine as “one of our greatest, if not our greatest, painter of American outdoor life.”
  • Father of Andrew Wyeth and grandfather of Jamie Wyeth.
  • Created over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books.

QUOTE: “I can’t work completely out of my imagination. I must put my foot in a bit of truth, and then I can fly free.”

llustration by Jessica Andrascik ‘08