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Andrew Wyeth Biography for Kids

Image of a painting of a house and car. On top of this is a brown rectangle with the words "Andrew Wyeth Biography for Kids." Below this are three more paintings by Andrew Wyeth: a man with dark hair wearing a white shirt, a pair of boots on legs walking in a brown field, and the backside of a woman in a pink dress who is sitting with her legs to the left side and her hands reaching forward to the right as she appears to be crawling up a brown hill towards a house.

Hello there.  My name is Andrew Wyeth.

Black and white photo of man (Andrew Wyeth) with dark hair looking a little to the right
Andrew Wyeth

I was born in 1917 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, the youngest of five children.

I was raised in a family dedicated to art. My father was a famous painter and illustrator of children’s books. Perhaps you’ve read one of the books N.C. Wyeth, my father, illustrated, like The Pilgrims, Treasure Island, or Kidnapped.

Painting of a middle-aged man with a slight smile on his face and wearing a brown hat, glasses and light blue button-up shirt with a country landscape of a river winding through the country behind him.
Self-portrait by N. C. Wyeth 1940 (Public Domain)

My brothers and sisters became artists, engineers, and musicians, and a generation later my son, Jamie, has become an important artist. I guess you could say that art runs in the family!

Jamie Wyeth, artist and Andrew Wyeth’s son

Because of my delicate health as a child, I was homeschooled. My father was my only teacher, and of course, he gave me the only art lessons I ever had. I studied the Renaissance artists and American painters and learned to illustrate stories like my father, but I did not enjoy this. I led a very family-focused sheltered life and enjoyed reading Robert Frost’s poetry and Henry David Thoreau. We also enjoyed nature.

Soaring by Andrew Wyeth (Fair Use)

I am primarily a realist painter and am sometimes referred to as the “Painter of the People” due to my work’s popularity with the American public.

In my paintings, my favorite subjects are the land and people around me, both in my hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at my summer home in Cushing, Maine. Many of my paintings are of simple scenes like a view of a man’s boots trodding the grass…

Painting by Andrew Wyeth showing tall brown boots and the bottom edge of a long black coat as if a man is walking towards the viewer over brown trodden weeds.
Trodden Weed 1951 by Andrew Wyeth (Fair Use)

…a lace curtain blowing in the breeze…

Painting by Andrew Wyeth of an open window from inside a room overlooking a brown field with the lace curtains blowing in towards the viewer.
Wind from the Sea 1947 by Andrew Wyeth (Fair Use)

…an abandoned row boat…

Painting by Andrew Wyeth of a wooden rowboat in a field of brown plants with a house in the distance at the top left of the painting.
Teel’s Island 1954 by Andrew Wyeth (Fair Use)

…or a road with a car and a farm in the distance.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth giving the view of looking down a dirt road through a brown field of weeds into the distance to see a car pulled off to the side with a couple people standing by it looking towards a house that is further in the distance with more people gathered.
Public Sale 1943 by Andrew Wyeth (Fair Use)

My paintings are very natural and detailed, often in watercolors or tempura paint. I use a lot browns, golds and greens, and I use light and shadow to draw my subjects out.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth of a young man dressed in a black coat and hat and black pants and brown boots running down a hill of brown dried weeds towards the viewer.
Winter 1946 by Andrew Wyeth (Fair Use)

What can I really say? I paint my life!

My most famous painting is called Christina’s World. It shows a young woman, my neighbor Christina Olson in Cushing, Maine in a field looking toward her house. She was crippled, and I saw her crawling across the field, so it inspired my painting.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth of a young woman a brown field of grass looking toward her house and crawling across the field towards it.
Christina’s World 1948 by Andrew Wyeth (Fair Use)

I did not get into Pop Art or Abstract Expressionism, which became popular during my lifetime. I stayed with Realism.

In 2007, President George Bush awarded me with the National Medal of Arts, and I am one of the most popular American painters of the twentieth century. You can see my art in most of the large art museums in the United States, such as the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Modern Museum of Art in New York or at Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania where you can also visit my father’s house and studio and my home and studio.

Here’s what you should remember about me:
I am Andrew Wyeth.
I lived from 1917 to 2009.
I am a known as a Realistic painter of the land and people around me and am called the “Painter of the People.”
I like to use watercolors and tempera paint
I am one of most famous American artists of 20th century.

Investigate the life and art works of Andrew Wyeth in this artist unit study!

Image of a mockup of a computer screen with the image of a man with dark hair wearing a dark blue jacket with the collar turned up next to a green paint swish with the words over it saying, "Investigating Andrew Wyeth." Below the main computer screen are pages from the unit study and two sprial bound books. Next to the sprial books are an arrow and the words on the left side which say Teacher Notes and an arrow and the words on the right side which say Student Activity Pack.

Watch the video about me too!

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