Wyeth Art Works in New England
While the public cannot personally visit Allen Island and the neighboring Georges Islands, you can see some of Andrew Wyeth’s Maine paintings, watercolors, and drawings at over a dozen New England art museums.
Start with the Farnsworth Art Museum & Wyeth Center in Rockland, Maine. The Farnsworth has the region’s largest collection: 26 (compared with 63 works at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania). It also has a special arrangement with Betsy and Andrew Wyeth that allows the museum access to the couple’s private collection of Maine works. Andrew’s art — and only his — is hung in two galleries, with about 30 on view at any one time. Plus, here you’ll be able to experience firsthand the landscape of the area where Andrew and Betsy summer each year and even visit the Olson House (immortalized in Andrew’s painting Christina’s World, owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City).
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston holds 16 works in its permanent collection, and the Portland Museum of Art holds nine. But, like the Wyeths, who are very private people, the art is often not on public view. Visitors to the museums are most likely to see a Wyeth painting during an exhibition or when the pieces are rotated, one at a time, into a gallery now and again. Lucky for us, many of these same museums have searchable online databases with pictures of each work and details such as provenance.