The Art of the Wyeth Family features artwork by the many family members and descendants of N.C. Wyeth, spanning three generations.
The Wyeth family has strong roots along the East Coast – particularly in coastal Maine, and rural Pennsylvania – that is reflected in their naturalistic representations of the landscape, wildlife, and area inhabitants.
Maude Robin McCoy has been painting her entire life. She grew up amongst the Wyeth family of painters, as the youngest daughter of John McCoy and Ann Wyeth McCoy. She was never far away from the act of painting, and once remarked, “All those years I wasn’t painting, I was painting in my mind.”
McCoy studied drawing in her father’s studios, who in turn had studied with her grandfather, N.C. Wyeth. She also learned from her aunt, Carolyn Wyeth, but there was much that she simply taught herself. She paints in watercolor, and like her family, she is inspired by close observation of her surroundings.
John McCoy became introduced to the Wyeth family in 1933, when he was courting N.C. Wyeth’s youngest daughter, Ann, who he would later marry. Though he received some formal artistic training in Paris, N.C. Wyeth decided to bring John into his studio to study alongside his son Andrew, and thus create a friendly sense of artistic competition between them.
In his early years, McCoy became familiar with painting in oil, tempera, and watercolor, though he would later explore the unique possibilities that came with taking a mixed media approach that reflected his interest in the work of Abstract Expressionist artists.
Like many of his relatives, McCoy often chose to depict the contrasting landscapes of rural Pennsylvania and coastal Maine. McCoy’s work captures the serenity of the world around him while never sacrificing the artistic spontaneity he is best known for.
Ann Wyeth McCoy was the fourth child of N.C. Wyeth, who instilled a sense of creative exploration in her at a young age. She later married the artist John McCoy, and together they enjoyed an idyllic lifestyle filled with music and the visual arts. She composed her first symphony at the age of 18, which was performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra only a year later.
Though Ann primarily dedicated herself to her music, she was also an accomplished watercolorist who painted for personal enjoyment. Her paintings often depict the land, buildings, and interiors surrounding her homes in Pennsylvania and Maine. As a fellow artist in Maine once remarked about her work, “Through Ann McCoy’s vision we become aware of small, quiet, and sometimes mysterious wonders, and life is made much more interesting.” Though the scale of Ann’s works is small and intimate, they capture deeply felt emotions and memories that reveal the natural beauty of her subject matter.
Anna Brelsford McCoy received much of her artistic training from her aunt, Carolyn Wyeth, who was N.C. Wyeth’s second oldest daughter. For many years, Anna’s studies consisted of routine academic exercises – such as painting spheres, cubes, and making charcoal studies. Her parents, John McCoy and Ann Wyeth McCoy, also nurtured her interest in the arts and she has devoted herself to painting full-time for several decades.
Anna paints with minimal under-drawing and is adept with both oil paints and watercolors. Though she lives in the same area of coastal Maine where many of her relatives lived and worked, her body of work focuses primarily on portraiture and still life. In the words of her friend, William Matthews, “[Anna] has shown us who she is, where she lives, and what is important to her. We have been invited to this very personal place and we’re fortunate to be there.”
Jamie Wyeth is a third-generation member of the famed American artistic dynasty. Though many of his works incorporate subject matter from the Maine coast and his native Brandywine River valley, others depict important individuals and cultural events in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware near his family home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Wyeth spends a substantial portion of his time on the Maine coast, where the landscape and local inhabitants -- animal as well as human -- serve as subjects for his work. He paints in a variety of mediums, having never developed an affinity for egg tempera favored by his father, Andrew.
With their compelling images, strong contrasts, and tactile surfaces, Jamie Wyeth’s works are marked with an intensity regardless of whether they depict people, animals, architecture, objects, or the continually unfolding interaction between mankind and nature.