N C Wyeth

Newell Convers Wyeth

By
Armand Cabrera

One of the most famous illustrators from America’s Golden Age of Illustration was Newell Convers Wyeth. Also an accomplished easel painter, Newell Convers Wyeth was born on October 22, 1882. He was the eldest of four sons of Andrew Newell Wyeth, a farmer, and Henriette Zirngiebel. Growing up in a rural setting gave the young “N.C.” a deep love for the land and a great understanding of the human form in motion. N.C. had a keen ability for recalling the smallest visual details of a scene—something that would serve him well as an illustrator.


It was N.C.’s mother who encouraged his artistic ability and she who convinced his father to allow N.C. to attend art school instead of an apprenticeship to a New Hampshire Farm. N.C. attended the Mechanic Art School in Boston, graduating in 1899. He continued his studies at the Massachusetts Normal Art School and the Eric Pape School of Art in 1902. Through a fellow student, he was encouraged to apply for the Howard Pyle School in Delaware.

Howard Pyle was the most famous Illustrator of his time. His school was free to anyone who met Pyle’s standard for artistic excellence and hard work. Within 4 months, the 20 year old N.C. rose to the top of his class. Pyle encouraged his students to paint from life, whenever possible.

Although N.C was marginalized by other artists during his lifetime because he chose illustration as his occupation, his illustrations have stood the test of time as great paintings. N.C. became one of the most successful illustrators in America, illustrating such classics as Treasure Island, Last of the Mohicans, Robin Hood and Robinson Crusoe.

Throughout his career, N.C. would return to his passion for the land and people close to his homes in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and Port Clyde, Maine. These canvases not only have his illustrator’s skill of exceptional facility, but also a deep understanding of the land and the people who worked it.

N.C. Wyeth created what is one of the most impressive art families in America. His sons and daughters went on to become successful artists in their own right. His son, Andrew, and his grandson, Jamie, are continuing the legacy to this day.
N.C. was tragically killed with his grandson, Newell, when his car stalled on the train tracks near his house in 1945.


Bibliography

Not For Publication: Landscapes, Still Lifes, and Portraits by N.C Wyeth
Brandywine River Museum 1982

N.C. Wyeth A Biography
David Michaelis
Knopf 1998

N.C. Wyeth: the Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals
Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, JR.
Bonanza 1972

Quote
I don’t want to be rated as an illustrator trying to paint, but as a painter who has shaken the dust of the illustrator from his heels!! ~Newell Convers Wyeth

Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered

By

Armand Cabrera
This week I had the pleasure of seeing the Howard Pyle Exhibit at the Delaware Art Museum. The Preview and show were well attended proving once again how starved the public is for this type of art. The exhibit really shows his range as an artist.
This is the largest showing of his work since his death 100 years ago. The museum also displayed the work of some of Pyle’s students, showing his influence as a teacher. Walking around with the other artists we were all struck by his use of color and value and his great eye for unusual compositions.
5am. When I was younger I would’ve been coming home at this time

In Chads Ford, 10 miles away at the Brandywine River Museum they also had a tribute to Pyle and some of his students, plus all seventeen of N.C. Wyeth’s Treasure Island Paintings on display.

Margo, myself, Jeanette, James, Jean Baptiste, Lester
My trip started with a 5:30 am Friday morning drive up to the Brandywine River Museum to meet James Gurney and his wife Jeanette, Jean Baptiste Monge and his wife Margo and Lester Yocum when the museum opened at 9:30am. Jim had these little pieces of paper with 11 on them and at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11 we took a picture of ourselves. I think it caused a rip in the space time continuum somewhere. 
Myself and Garin and our portraits
After seeing the show we went and had lunch and were joined by two other artists Kevin Ferrara and Garin Baker.While we all  talked James painted watercolor portraits of me and Garin.

At 5pm there was a 2 hour preview party at the Delaware Art Museum which was very well attended.
Afterward, we left James and Jeanette who had prior committments, and found a diner and talked art for a few hours.
                              left to right, Garin Baker Kev Ferrara, Margo and Jean Baptiste Monge
Saturday, I was back at the Delaware to get an early look at the show before James Gurneys lecture. People were waiting for the Museum to open when I got there. As I was walking around with James and Kevin we met Noah Bradley who was up for the Lecture and show as well as Patrick O’brien. I was also introduced to John R. Schoonover and Ian Schoenherr.  James Gurney gave a 45 minute talk on Howard Pyle and Composition Techniques to a packed crowd.

Kev Ferrara briefly eclipsed by Garin Baker and Noah Bradley

Afterward, a few of us took our lives in our hands trying to caravan to the diner we had been to the night before. After a few close calls we finally made it and enjoyed a simple lunch with more great conversation.

Heading home, I had plenty of time to think about Pyle and his legacy that still touches artists of all ages to this day.
If you are on the East Coast it is a must see show.