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Jamie Wyeth

BIOGRAPHY

b. 1946

A third-generation artist linked to the Wyeth dynasty, Jamie Wyeth, son of Andrew Wyeth, made his own mark by depicting compelling Maine landscapes, dignified wildlife, and even portraits of famed figures, all in a style known as contemporary realism. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Wyeth spent most of his time on the coast of Maine depicting animal and human subjects. Painting in a combination of mediums, Wyeth created images with stark contrasts and tactile surfaces, with a portrait-like intensity.


While growing up in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, he left school at the age of twelve to pursue art. His aunt Caroline taught him the basics of draftsmanship while he served as an apprentice to his father for three years. He would travel to New York to practice depicting the corpses in hospital morgues. He began to use oil paint in 1963, despite his father’s affinity for egg tempera.


 It was during the late-1960s that he began his famed portrait series of esteemed figures such as President John F. Kennedy, Andy Warhol, and Jimmy Carter. This series of paintings showed that he could reflect the humanity in his sitters as well their physical attributes with remarkable accuracy.


By 1968, he also depicted landscapes and domesticated and wild animals near his farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He had a knack for conveying textures, such as fur and feathers, with immense detail, and capturing the physiognomy of his subjects. He became involved in the artistic life on Monhegan Island in Maine and spent most of his summers there. Since 1991, he has been active on Southern Island, depicting local animals as shown in the Gulls of Monhegan #1  (1992) and the landscape.


Wyeth is a member of the National Academy of Design, the American Water Color Society, the National Space Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Examples of Jamie Wyeth's work can be found in major public collections across the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; and the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, among others.