Unveiling Brings Wyeth Reunion
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum and its collecting partners Bob Kierlin and Mary Burrichter, unveiled four new works on long-term loan to the museum at a fundraiser event on Sunday evening, April 14, 2019. Three works by artists Newell Convers “N.C.” Wyeth, Théodore Rousseau and George Luks will be on immediate display at the museum, while a fourth by Arthur Dove is slated for a future exhibition.
N.C. Wyeth is considered a master of American illustration, creating endearing works for classic books like Treasure Island, The Last of the Mohicans, and Robin Hood. His oil painting Landscape Study in the Woods (1916) relies less on fantasy and more on domestic life, depicting his daughters as they play in a stream at their family home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Wyeth started a family dynasty of American art as the father and grandfather of two of the most renowned American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Landscape Study in the Woods will hang alongside his son Andrew’s Little Caldwell Island (1940) and grandson Jamie’s The Warning (2007), already on display at MMAM.
“We are extremely pleased to a have a brilliant painting by N.C. Wyeth join the works by Andrew and Jamie Wyeth on display at the Museum,” says MMAM Curator of Collections Jon Swanson. “This family reunion of sorts will relate the Wyeths’ importance in the history of American art while showcasing their own unique and individual styles.”
Théodore Rousseau was a pioneer in French landscape, and the father of a movement that became known as the Barbizon school. His A Panoramic View with a Bridge Over the Seine, Near Paris (c. 1830-1835) is a sweeping panorama of the French countryside. Rousseau pioneered the landscape as a subject matter, an important step in making landscape paintings viable in 19th century culture, and he inspired later generations of artists to paint outdoors.
“You can feel the power of nature within Rousseau’s scenes,” says MMAM Executive Director Nicole Chamberlain-Dupree. “He is a tremendously important linchpin in art history, and we are very lucky to have one of his works. He is not a household name for everyone, but was influential to artists like Monet and the Impressionists as they turned to nature for inspiration.”
The event was rounded out with the unveiling of works by George Luks and Arthur Dove. American George Luks was part of a movement known as the Ashcan school, dedicated to showing the grittier side of urban life. The Swan Boats (c. 1904) depicts a more genteel view of urban Boston; the famous Swan Boats of the Boston Public Garden. Lastly, Arthur Dove is considered the first American artist to truly embrace abstraction. His Snow on Ice, Huntington Harbor (1930) is an abstraction of the water, ice and snow in the frozen harbors of Long Island Sound.