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N.C. Wyeth

October 22, 1888 - October 19, 1945


N.C. Wyeth was an American illustrator and painter. Wyeth is best known for his prolific work as an illustrator just after the turn of the 20th century. He was born in 1882 in Needham, Massachusetts, and in 1902 at the age of twenty, Wyeth traveled to Wilmington, Delaware where he studied under a renowned illustrator. He was an eager pupil and traveled to the American West to study his favorite subject matter: Cowboys. He quickly began to find success and his illustration appeared in magazines such as Harper’s Monthly, McClure’s, and Scribner’s. In 1908 Wyeth moved to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania to start a family with his wife. They would raise five children, three of whom would go on to be artists like their father. In 1911 while living in Pennsylvania, Wyeth would begin the most iconic phase of his career, illustrating novels. Starting first with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Wyeth would go on to illustrate over 100 novels, bringing each to live with his vibrant creations. Wyeth also was commissioned by companies such as Coca-Cola, Lucky Strike, and Kellogg’s to make advertisements for magazines, etc. Wyeth eventually wanted to be recognized for his non-commercial art and focused more on his own artistic ventures with oil paint and tempura until his death in 1945, tragically the result of an automobile accident when his car was struck by a train in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He was survived by the artistic legacy not only of himself but of his family. His son, Andrew Newell Wyeth (1917 – 2009), became a celebrated realist painter known for his work in watercolors and tempera, and Andrew’s son, N.C.’s grandson, James Wyeth (1946 – ), that would become an immensely successful painter at a young age, following in the steps of his grandfather, and his father before him.

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