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Chester County Press

A rare chance to see N.C. Wyeth works for sale

06/18/2019 12:40PM ● By J. Chambless

‘Hazy Afternoon’ (1908/1911).

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

For anyone who admires the art of N.C. Wyeth, the new show of paintings at the Somerville Manning Gallery – available for sale or just to be admired – is a chance to revel in the details that aren’t evident in reproductions of Wyeth’s works.

Coinciding with the major retrospective of N.C.’s works at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the gallery is spotlighting some works on loan from the Brandywine’s collection – “Still Life With Onions” (1931) and “Herring Gut” (1932) among them. They take on special resonance because they’re flanked by works you could theoretically own. While certainly beyond the reach of nearly everyone’s budget, it’s a thrill to see works that have been seen by only a few people.

There’s the splendid summer light in “Hazy Afternoon” (1908/1911), showing Chadds Ford in the valley; and the view of a cool, shadowy riverbank in an untitled Chadds Ford landscape from 1903. There’s an autumn view of Wyeth’s white barn in 1917, painted from the hillside above his home. And you can admire the tiny details in “The Thanksgiving Feast,” a mural commission from 1940.

Among the major works, you’ll sense the serene grace of Wyeth’s illustrations for “The Lost Boy” that appeared in Harper’s Monthly in 1913. But there’s equal magic in the untitled view of a pond and hillside that has a quiet elegance and masterfully painted reflection in the water.

There are key moments of action and drama in Wyeth’s illustrations for “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come” (1931), showing two men locked in a life-or-death struggle; and the thrilling drop of horse and rider in “The Horse Fell With His Rider to the Bottom of the Cliff,” an illustration from 1927.

There’s a fascinating, once-in-a-lifetime chance to see an oil of fairies hovering over a pond that’s on loan from N.C.’s grandson, Jamie Wyeth. It’s a beguiling puzzle.

In any case, such a grouping of original N.C. Wyeth paintings – for sale and on loan – is not likely to happen again, so don’t miss this chance to experience these paintings before they are put away in some lucky collector’s home. This show is a magical opportunity.

The exhibition continues through Aug. 24. The Somerville Manning Gallery is at 101 Stone Block Row, Greenville, Del. For more information, call 302-652-0271 or visit www.somervillemanning.com.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.


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