Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wyeth's Maine

~Andrew Wyeth~
July 12, 1917 ~ January 16, 2009
{Image~ Peter Ralston}

~On The Edge~

On Monday I visited the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine.
What a gift.
I am a fan of the works of the late Andrew Wyeth.
I have been for years. Just out of high school I started collecting Wyeth prints and having them matted and framed.

Fast-forward several years... I became the gardener on an estate here in central Maine. One of the owners was a gallery owner in New York City. He was a friend of Andrew Wyeth and held the exclusive for Wyeths at his gallery.

Occasionally Andrew Wyeth and his wife Betsy would visit the estate. One particular August the famed artist was due to arrive for a weekend visit. I knew well of this pending visit- I arranged the flowers for the guestroom that the Wyeth's would have for the weekend.


On that Saturday morning I made a quick trip down to the greenhouses to do some light watering and venting of the beautiful glass greenhouses. As I was driving up the lane to my home, also part of the family property, I saw an imposing figure walking along. I knew just who it was. Worn, baggy khaki pants, very faded navy canvas shoes and an old comfy navy cotton sweater- it was him. I pulled into my driveway and dashed inside. I went from window to window trying to catch the best view of the well known artist.
He made his way to the horses right across from my cottage.
I could see him gently clapping his hands to get their attention.


I took a deep breath, threw on a crisp white shirt, tossed a brush through my hair and nonchalantly walked outside of my cottage to where Mr. Wyeth was leaning against a newly painted white fence talking with a couple of the horses.

With the blush of a young woman I told him that I was a fan of his work. He was gentle~ he took my hand and put his other hand on my right shoulder. He was very complimentary of the gardens that I tended for the family and asked several questions about the horses and the greenhouses. He seemed more interested in the work that I was doing then talking about himself or his work.

It was a short but substantial introduction.

It made my summer.

This man was a gift to Maine and to art.
If you are in Maine or have the chance to
visit the Farnsworth Museum
it will be an afternoon well spent.
The Farnsworth Museum
16 Museum Street
Rockland, Maine

~Rockland, Maine~


Thank you to Peter Ralston {top} http://www.pralston.com/
Others are mine own


  1. Deb, I absolutely love this post!

    The description of Wyeth, imagining you running from window to window to catch a glimpse and the simple gesture of running a brush through your hair before nonchalantly popping outside to meet him. Isn't that top image of him just brilliant? He looks like a real 'salt of the earth' type character and his paintings are quintessential New England to me. I just love it!

    Thank your for this...it made my day :)

    Jeanne xx

  2. I sware I left a comment earlier....jeesh, and I cannot even blame it on a monday...cause it is tuesday! Well, Wyeth makes me want to live as one with the land and feel every blade of grass and the subtlety of every shade. One of my faves.
    Love your story and a girl is never too old to blush.

  3. An amazingly talented family Debra! Thank you so much for sharing more details.

    I met Jamie at an exhibit he had at The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

    Art by Karena

  4. What a wonderful story, Debra... and memory to have. Reading about your moment in time, I felt like I was watching you from a window in the cottage.

  5. Oh, what a wonderful story. It is always such a marvelous thing to meet one of our heroes and find that meeting to be everything we'd have hoped for. A memory to treasure. I visited a Wyeth exhibit here in town a couple of years ago. It was sublime. Such beautiful work he did.

    Also, on a shallow note.... I picked up those Goody spin pins you wrote about a few weeks ago. They are incredible!!! I"d never have heard about them if you hadn't brought them to my attention, and they are holding my hair up all summer! Thanks!!

  6. That is truly an amazing story! From the gardening to the artist, I loved every word.

  7. I stumbled across your posting re Andy Wyeth. He was a very dear friend, really my second father. I know the estate owner to whom you refer as well (Fred).

    The photograph at the top of the page is one I took of Andy for a book cover...I actually don't mind that you have used it, but it would be nice to be credited with having created it. We artists should know better when we "borrow" each other's work. Please link the image to my site.

    My thanks (I hope),

    Peter Ralston

  8. Peter~ Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I apologize. I got the wonderful image of Mr. Wyeth through a google search-which was taken from another blog. After my very brief encounter with this gentleman, I would say you were very fortunate to have him in your life.

  9. I've no doubt Mr. Wyeth enjoyed his encounter with you just a much as you did with him dear Debra.
    Millie ^_^

  10. Dear Debra this is possibly your best post ever! Your description of going from from window to window and running a quick brush thru your hair to greet the artist was priceless. Your words were like watching a movie....I am sure you will never forget this encounter. I also admired Wyeth art. So honest and real. Maybe some other time you will share with us other experiences of being a gardener on an estate. Our daughter Amy (age 28) has been seeing the world as a nanny to a super wealthy London couple. I enjoy her stories of jetting about on a G5 private jet, voyages on the huge ship owned by the couple, the security staff that travels with them (they even travel with a breathing coach, can you believe it?) as well as all the posturing among the rich at a 5 year old's Victorian tea party.... La di dah...

    Also, I STILL need to get my airline ticket for my East Coast trip. I am procrastinating terribly..... xoxoxoxo

  11. Wonderful post! The book "Wyeth at Kuerners" has been sitting on my coffee table for the past few months. I like to open it up to a random page and just look. He was a great one.

  12. How lovely, Debra, that you got to meet one of your heros/favorite artists. And in such a natural and casual setting.

    Thanks for sharing this memory.


  13. Wow lucky you. What a lovely memory - thanks for sharing.

  14. yep....
    whether i want to or not-
    every time i am in rockland
    i go to the farnsworth
    (with the mummy).

  15. I too am a great fan of his and we have been lucky enough to have an exhibition at a nearby gallery this summer, of three generations of the Wyeth family.

  16. the picuture of Nicolas as a young boy is that the original painting? i only ask as i have a print givein to me by my grandfather and it signed by Andrew its very old as number 5 of 10 this photo up here is the first i have seen of this , i have been looking for a very long time to find it .my grandfather had it for well over 40years on his wall in the dance room. now saying this this in new Zealand . any help would be nice


Related Posts with Thumbnails