Jamie Wyeth

A third-generation American contemporary realist painter, Jamie Wyeth is part of the artistic dynasty ushered in by his grandfather N.C. Wyeth and his father Andrew Wyeth. As a young boy, Wyeth left the sixth grade to devote more time to his art, visiting his aunt Carolyn in her studio for rudimentary art lessons until Andrew privately tutored him. He later moved to New York and refined his anatomical skills after visiting hospital morgues to draw human corpses. Despite his family name and recognition, Wyeth initially faced some rejection from avant-garde critics in the New York art scene for his traditional approaches to painting. While his compositions are more vivid and diverse in color palette, Wyeth has a unique ability to evoke the character of a subject using representational imagery and translating his observations into realistic, visual experiences for viewers. His works are primarily done in oils, but he also specializes in egg tempera, watercolor, and lithography. Primary subject matter for his portraits includes animals and pumpkins, due to his life experiences in rural Delaware and Pennsylvania. Wyeth is best at painting if he knows the person intimately. He made portraits of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, pop artist Andy Warhol, and Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. From 1966-1971, Wyeth served in the Delaware National Guard, where he accepted numerous commissions to draw space probe launchings for the Eyewitness to Space program, sponsored by the National Gallery of Art and National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C. Wyeth achieved artistic renown in 1971 with a joint exhibition featuring works from his father and grandfather at the newly opened Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He drew further national attention in 1976 with a show at the Coe-Kerr Gallery, New York, of the portraits he and Warhol did of one another. His works are housed in permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Morgan Library and Museum, New York; the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, Illinois; and the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina.       

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