The Wyeth Museum in the magnificent Brandywine River valley of Pennsylvania contains not only a wonderful collection of art but has one of the most beautiful settings of any museum in America.
Best known for its collection of three generations of Wyeths - N.C., Andrew, and Jamie,the museum is also host to many other American painters. An unspoiled rural setting, winding country roads and tree lined pastures surround the old mill that houses the museum.
Cover illustration - Treasure Island - N C Wyeth
From the museum's website - In the mid-1960s, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania in the historic Brandywine Valley, faced possible massive industrial development. The impact would have dramatically changed the character and future of a community that was then largely rural. Appreciating the need for rapid action, a group of local residents bought endangered land and founded the Brandywine Conservancy in 1967. The first conservation easements, protecting more than five and one-half miles along the Brandywine, were granted in 1969. Today, the Conservancy holds more than 440 conservation easements and has protected more than 45,000 acres in Chester and Delaware counties, Pennsylvania, and in New Castle County, Delaware.
Winds from the Sea - Andrew Wyeth
In 1971, the Conservancy opened the Brandywine River Museum in the renovated Hoffman’s Mill, a former gristmill built in 1864 that was part of the Conservancy’s first preservation efforts. The museum has an international reputation for its unparalleled collection and its dedication to American art with primary emphasis on the art of the Brandywine region, American illustration, still life and landscape painting, and the work of the Wyeth family.
Among the hundreds of artists represented are Howard Pyle, many students of Pyle who affected the course of American illustration, N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth. There is work by hundreds of famous illustrators. Landscape, still life, portrait and genre painting includes work by Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Asher Durand, W. T. Richards, William Harnett, John Haberle, J. D. Chalfant, Horace Pippin, and many others, while the major still life collection includes paintings by William Harnett, John Peto, George Cope, John Haberle, Horace Pippin, and many more artists. Nearly 300 special exhibitions have been shown in the museum’s six galleries, along with constant installations of work from the collection. A variety of educational programs is offered throughout the year.
On my visit there, the leaves were just beginning to turn and a tang of the coming autumn was in the air.