James H. Duff, Executive Director Emeritus, Brandywine Conservancy and Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, gives OPB’s November Shop Talk. His subject is artist Andrew Wyeth, one of Maine’s best-known celebrities and one of the best-known U.S. artists of the middle 20th century. In his art, Wyeth’s favorite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine, where he painter his famous “Christina’s World.” A list of Wyeth’s honors includes
2007, the National Medal of Arts
1988, the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States legislature
1980, the first living United States artist to be elected to Britain’s Royal Academy
1977, the first American artist since John Singer Sargent to be elected to the French Académie des Beaux-Arts
1965, the gold medal for painting from the National Institute of Arts and Letters
1963, the first painter to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom
And he was controversial. Art historian Robert Rosenblum was asked in 1977 to identify the “most overrated and underrated” artists of the 20th century. For both categories he answered: Andrew Wyeth. Controversy is also reflected in the title of November’s Shop Talk.