A week ago today, I was at the Brandywine River Museum. (Aka, the Wyeth Museum.) I knew the day would be a good one when, early on, we saw a bald eagle fly over the Jersey Turnpike. I know eagles are occasionaly seen in the area but I never thought I’d actually spot one. Once at the museum, we met up with a group of friends -- it was the always lovely Julie Bell’s birthday and she made a great picnic for us, including ultra yummy cupcakes.
Currently the Brandywine is hosting an exhibit called Flights into Fantasy. A children's book show that includes Arthur Rackham, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Kay Nielsen,and many other giants. The show is stunning. If you enjoy the work of contemporary illustrators such as Charles Vess, Tony DeTerillizzi, Tom Canty, and others of their ilk, you should check it out. It will be on display until November 18th and then moves up to the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst.
And then, of course, there are the 3 Wyeths...
I first visited the Brandywine a number of years ago. I was basically going to see N.C.’s work, which truly is wonderful, but after going through the Andrew galleries.....honestly, I have never since hesitated for a second when asked who my favorite artist is. I don’t think I’ve ever been as affected by a painter as by Andrew Wyeth’s work. The guy has basically painted his backyard for 80 years. At first blush the work appears formal and tightly rendered and yet once you get on top of it, and especially when you are confronted with a body of work, it becomes strange and loose and deeply personal. It appears to be full of secret iconography. It does not matter if I don’t understand the symbols, the fact that some inner language is being spoken directly at me is enough to give me entre, or at east a glimpse, into a starkly beautiful, if at times slightly unsettling, world.
And Jamie Weyth can be cool too.
We toped off the day by seeing Tony Palumbo’s exihibit at a gallery in Philadelphia -- a young man painting far better than his years should allow.