Chadds Ford’s Andrew Wyeth, the brilliant but highly polarizing painter, was widely celebrated last year, the centennial of his birth, writes James Panero for The New Criterion, a New York City-based literary magazine.
Adored by his fans but infuriating to his critics, the painter provided a popular alternative to the onslaught of modernity with his timeless representations of rural American life.
But not everyone found his paintings to be truly realistic.
“An image of American life – pastoral, innocent, and homespun – which bears about as much relation to reality as a Neiman Marcus boutique bears to the life of the old frontier,” art critic Hilton Kramer once said.
The Brandywine River Museum of Art commemorated the painter with a Chadds Ford exhibition, “Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect,” which then went on the road to locations like the Seattle Art Museum.
The United States Postal Service also honored the painter with a series of stamps and keepsakes. They included the image of a young Wyeth in his Chadds Ford studio and other famous works, including Christina’s World, which he painted in 1948.
Read more about Andrew Wyeth in The New Criterion here.