Brandywine Featured in New PBS Documentary on Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth Studio exterior, credit Carlos Alejandro
Andrew Wyeth Studio exterior, credit Carlos Alejandro
  • Andrew Wyeth Studio, credit Carlos Alejandro

    Andrew Wyeth Studio, credit Carlos Alejandro

  • Kuerner Farm

    Kuerner Farm

In a brand-new Andrew Wyeth documentary coming soon to PBS American Masters, go behind the scenes of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, its historic Wyeth properties and collections, and explore the area that three generations of Wyeth artists called home. Airing on September 7, 2018, WYETH: The Life of Andrew Wyeth Told in Bold Strokes captures a complete portrait of Wyeth’s world in stunning detail with unprecedented access to the artist’s work, archival materials, and interviews with family members, friends and scholars—including those from the Brandywine.

WYETH tells the story of one of America’s best-known twentieth-century artists. In highlighting Wyeth’s remarkable life and career, the documentary beautifully captures the Brandywine River Museum of Art and its surrounding properties, including footage shot in the artist’s studio, childhood home, his father N. C. Wyeth’s studio, and Kuerner Farm—a major source of inspiration during Wyeth’s career. The Brandywine is the only location where visitors can see famous works by three generations of Wyeths—N. C., Andrew and Jamie—and then step into the worlds they lived and painted with guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio, N. C. Wyeth House & Studio, and Kuerner Farm—all National Historic Landmarks. 

Andrew Wyeth painted many of his most important works of art in his Chadds Ford studio. Given to the Brandywine by the artist’s wife, Betsy James Wyeth, the studio provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience this very personal space where Wyeth painted from 1940 until 2008. Thousands of works of art are associated with this studio, inspired by the people, architecture and landscapes of Chadds Ford. The studio still houses the furnishings, library and collections acquired by the artist, as well as examples of the art materials he used throughout his career. Guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio introduce visitors to all aspects of his career, enhancing the Museum’s gallery experience.

On tours of N. C. Wyeth’s House & Studio, visitors are immersed in the childhood home of Andrew Wyeth where his artist father, N. C., nourished a family of extraordinary creativity. N. C. Wyeth was well known during the 20th century for his bold, imaginative illustrations that brought new characterizations to classic stories such as Treasure Island and The Boy’s King Arthur. His house and studio, located five minutes from the Museum, retain much of their original character. The main studio, with its spectacular Palladian-style north window, still contains many of the props that were essential to the work of an illustrator, including a birch-bark canoe hanging from the rafters and a collection of firearms. A full-size mural painting, displayed in a soaring 1923 addition, helps tell the story of Wyeth’s career. The house, with its country furnishings, reveals a more intimate picture of family life. Guided tours of both properties introduce visitors to the various aspects of Wyeth’s accomplished career and to the other members of his talented family.

For more than 70 years, the Kuerner Farm was a major source of inspiration to Andrew Wyeth. Beginning with his earliest painting of the farm in 1932 at the age of 15, Wyeth found vital subjects in its people, animals, buildings and landscapes for nearly 1,000 works of art. Referencing reproductions of the artist’s work, docent-led tours to the Kuerner Farm provide an in-depth study of the major paintings in Wyeth’s oeuvre that depict Kuerner farm subjects, contrasting the artist’s compositions with actual sites on the property. The tour includes the farmhouse and barn, and significantly expands a visitor’s understanding of Andrew Wyeth’s creative process.

Guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio, N. C. Wyeth House & Studio, and the Kuerner Farm—all National Historic Landmarks—are available daily (for an additional fee) from April 4 through November 18; advance reservations are recommended.

WYETH premieres Friday, September 7 on PBS (check local listings for times). The documentary will be available to stream beginning September 8 on pbs.org/americanmasters and on PBS apps. It also will be available for purchase at the Brandywine's Museum Shop on DVD.