New Exhibition at the Farnsworth: Andrew Wyeth—Witches, Ghosts and Mischief

  • ROCKLAND, Maine
  • /
  • September 05, 2019

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Andrew Wyeth, Ghosts, 2003 drybrush watercolor on paper. The Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection © 2019 Andrew Wyeth/Artists Rights Society (ARS)

On Saturday, September 21, the Farnsworth Art Museum in downtown Rockland, Maine, will open an exhibition of works by artist Andrew Wyeth entitled Andrew Wyeth: Witches, Ghosts and Mischief. The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s Hadlock Gallery through March 1, 2020.

At the end of each summer Andrew Wyeth engaged with Maine’s shifting seasons. Responding to the annual cycle of death and rebirth, Wyeth blended carefully observed details with his imagination and memory. Many of the resulting paintings of storms, wet leaves, and peculiar figures are infused with an eeriness that can leave viewers unsettled and questioning.

“Oftentimes people will like a picture I paint because it’s maybe the sun hitting on the side of a window and they can enjoy it purely for itself,” Wyeth once said. “It reminds them of some afternoon. But for me, behind that picture could be a night of moonlight when I’ve been in some house in Maine, a night of some terrible tension, or I had this strange mood. Maybe it was Halloween. It’s all there, hiding behind the realistic side."

The drama and excitement of Halloween exhilarated Wyeth, who reveled in the scarecrows, pumpkins, costumes, and pranks of the night when spirits of the dead can supposedly mingle with the living. Equally attracted to the fictitious Dr. Jekyll and Dracula as to the actual gruesome history of Revolutionary War battles that occurred in his own Pennsylvania backyard, Wyeth merged reality and fantasy in his paintings.

David Troup
Farnsworth Art Museum

Farnsworth Art Museum
16 Museum Street
Rockland, Maine
About Farnsworth Art Museum

Celebrating Maine’s Role in American Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. With 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 10,000 works in the collection, there is always something new on view at the Farnsworth. The museum houses the nation's second-largest collection of works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center exclusively features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth. The Farnsworth's library is also housed in its Rockland, ME, campus. Two historic buildings, the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House, complete the museum complex.

Tags: american art

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