Historic collection of N.C. Wyeth works showcased at Art Association
● By J. Chambless
By John Chambless
The Chester County Art Association in West Chester has a long history with artist N.C. Wyeth, who helped start the art organization in 1931. But it's been many years since the gallery was able to showcase original works by Wyeth.
Next month, though, visitors will be treated to 17 rarely seen Wyeth works in the Art Association's Allinson Gallery. The Founders Exhibition will be open from Oct. 10 to 18. Sixteen of the works are on loan from The Hill School in Pottstown, and and one much-loved N.C. Wyeth painting, “The Giant,” is on loan from the Westtown School.
Each of The Hill School’s 16 paintings illustrates a literary work by an American poet, such as Walt Whitman and Henry Longfellow, and depicts an event in our history. Wyeth’s “The Giant” can usually be found in the cafeteria of the Westtown School. As the largest painting in the Founders Exhibition, the exhibit will also place the work in a central location.
Also included in the exhibition will be publications by art critic and Chester County Art Association founder Christian Brinton, early letters from original Art Association art director William Palmer Lear, and paintings by Art Association charter member George Gillett Whitney. Four paintings by George Whitney will travel from Westtown School along with “The Giant.”
The Founders Exhibition will mark the 84th anniversary of the founding of the Art Association by N.C. Wyeth and his colleagues Dr. Christian Brinton and William Palmer Lear.
In the charter to the Art Association, Brinton wrote, "The Association merely wishes to acknowledge a sense of sincere obligation upon assuming the task of making Chester County more actively, and courageously, art conscious.” The first major exhibit by the Art Association drew more than 4,000 visitors. Horace Pippin, the West Chester painter recently celebrated in "The Way I see It" at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, first exhibited at the Chester County Art Association, where he was given his first one-man show.
In conjunction with the anniversary, there will be several ticketed events and lectures from art experts including Westtown archivist Mary Uhl Brooks; great-granddaughter of N.C. Wyeth, Victoria Wyeth; and Christine Podmaniczky, curator of N.C. Wyeth collections at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. For tickets and more information, visit www.chestercountyarts.org or call 610-696-5600.
The Founders Exhibition will be open from Oct. 10 to 18 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.