N. C. (Newell Covers) Wyeth
(American, 1882-1945)

“My brothers and I were brought up on a farm and from the time I could walk I was conscripted into doing every conceivable chore… This early training gave me a vivid appreciation of the part the body plays in action.”

 

“Now, when I paint a figure on horseback, a man plowing… I have an acute sense of the muscle strain, the feel of the hickory handle… After painting action scenes I have ached for hours because of having put myself in the other fellow’s shoes as I realized him on canvas.”                                                                                                                                                                                           -N.C. Wyeth

 

N.C. Wyeth, one of the most beloved American artists and illustrators, created a staggering 2,000+ illustrations for magazines, calendars, posters, advertisements, articles and over 100 books spanning a 43 year career. He is also a respected fine artist of the Brandywine School who painted landscapes of the Brandywine region in Pennsylvania and the coast of Maine.

 

A student of noteworthy artist and teacher Howard Pyle in 1902, Wyeth advanced quickly due to his natural ability and hard work ethic. He left the East coast and headed to the West to see firsthand the cowboys and Native Americans that inspired his illustrations. He was an avid reader, researched subjects thoroughly and used costumes and props to capture a vast array of subjects and time periods. Wyeth became a giant in the field of illustration and is best known for his illustrations of classic adventure novels such as Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Robin Hood.

 

Wyeth, a large man himself, liked to create large scale illustrations even though they would be reduced to the small page of a magazine cover. In this exhibition, his painting for “The Story of Allan Quartermain” is an example of his large illustration canvases. The Quartermain illustration is also a rare example of Wyeth working in the field of pulp fiction and one of the earliest pulp covers known to exist, as a majority of pulp illustrations were disposed of following their use.