Saluting the artistic legacy of the Brandywine Conservancy
● By J. Chambless
George Weymouth's 'Robin's House' is flanked by works by Andrew Wyeth and Peter Sculthorpe.
By John Chambless
In honor of the late artist and conservationist George “Frolic” Weymouth and the 50th anniversary of the Brandyine Conservancy, the Somerville Manning Gallery in Greenville, Del., is spotlighting works by artists closely associated with the Brandywine Valley.
The gallery, which has a long history of featuring works by the Wyeth family of artists, has devoted the back gallery to “Protected Land,” which is on view through May 28. The show features land that has been preserved thanks to the Conservancy's efforts, as well as artists who lived and worked in the region.
There's also N.C. Wyeth's huge “Summer,” a 1909 oil of a Native American with a fishing net on the edge of a stream, an Jamie Wyeth's helter-skelter composition of geese trampling dandelions and flapping in all directions, titled “Angered Dandelions.” Weymouth's winter watercolor, “Robin's House,” holds the central place in the show, and it's a splendid landscape with a sparing use of paint and an expansive scale that is very much like the work of Andrew Wyeth. Next to it is Andrew Wyeth's “The Tide Mill” (1968), a shadowy interior of logs, chain and glistening saw blade that is steeped in quiet menace.
Near it is a subtle, brown-toned watercolor of a cut tree trunk and green sprouts at the roots by Carolyn Wyeth. Also in the Wyeth family vein is Peter Hurd's “Forsythe Farm,” an oil of a sunlit valley and roofs that glow with summer light.
There's a bronze sculpture of a deer by Chester County artist Rikki Morley Saunders, as well as J. Clayton Bright's “Jack O'Lantern,” a bronze of a rabbit holding a working lantern, and both are charming. Celebrating the Chester County artists of today, there's Timothy Barr's “Full Moon” (2017), a stunning, vibrant oil of the spectacular gnarled sycamore and the Gilpin House in Chadds Ford. It has a clarity and luminous glow that is pure magic. There's a lovely floral work by Mary Page Evans, “Montserrat Orange,” as well as three nearly photo-realist oils by Peter Sculthorpe. Even Sculthorpe's tiny study “Morning on the Brandywine” has a startling clarity, as if you're standing right there in the meadow. Jon Redmond's oil landscape has a splendid bank of clouds and a series of rolling hillsides, and it packs a lot of space into its small size.
“Protected Land” is on view at the Somerville Manning Gallery (101 Stone Block Row, Greenville, Del.) through May 28. Visit www.somervillemanning.com for more information.
To contact Staff Writer John
Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.