N. C. Wyeth House and StudioPosted: August 2, 2007
We went to the N. C. Wyeth House and Studio yesterday.
If you remember way back near the beginning of this sabbatical, M and I became members of the Brandywine River Museum. This membership entitled us to a number of things, some of which we’ve used (mostly the hiking in the Brandywine Conservancy Preserves). One of the things we’ve been wanting to do, and comes with the membership, is tour the N. C. Wyeth House and Studio.
The house was impressive, but the studio was simply amazing. I have an artist friend who might be willing to kill for a studio like that. I’d almost kill for a studio like that, budding artist that I am.
We picked up our tickets for the 12:45pm tour at the museum. As it turned out, we were the only people on the tour for this time slot. They apparently had a lot people signed up for the 2:00pm tour. So once again, M and I got the personal tour where the tour guide didn’t have to rush us through and could take the time to answer questions.
You can’t drive up to the N. C. Wyeth House on your own. You have to take the museum shuttle. It seemed like such a waste to take just the two of us in that big shuttle. I even thought about offering our car as an alternative to save the gas. I’m sure there are liability and insurance reasons as to why that offer would have been declined so I didn’t follow through on the thought.
I have no photos to proudly display from this trip. Photos are not allowed inside the house or studio. Finding a photo of the outside is fairly easy to do on the internet. I decided it wasn’t worth carrying the camera around just for one or two outside shots.
Our tour guide at the house and studio was very knowledgeable and made the tour quite interesting. She also had time to chat us up on a personal level so we learned a little about her life and she learned a little about ours. That’s always nice, getting to know someone new.
One of the facts that interested me was how N. C. Wyeth, in 1911, bought 18 acres of land in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania with the proceeds from the illustrations he did for Treasure Island. Those proceeds were, according to the guide, between $3000 and $5000. Imagine trying to buy 18 acres of land anywhere in the U.S. for that amount today. Maybe in West Virginia or some other rural Appalachian area, but even that is doubtful.
While the house was interesting, I really enjoyed the studio. I can well imagine myself in such a work space. It’s beautiful, spacious, well lighted. Throughout the studio and in the storeroom are the various props N. C. Wyeth used for his paintings and illustrations.
There’s a plethora of information about N. C. Wyeth, his house, and studio out there on the internet. This article hits most of the highlights: N. C. Wyeth’s Studio.
After our tour we went back inside the museum to check on one of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings. Or a print of one of his paintings. I am enamored and in awe of Snow Hill. The only print they had on display in the museum was going for $5000. I asked at the desk if they had any prints that didn’t cost $5000. This garnered a few laughs before one of the women answered, “We wish!” The real answer is that perhaps it will be available in a more affordable print once the autographed, limited edition prints have sold. They don’t even have it on postcards right now.