Farnsworth to Celebrate Wyeth Day on July 12

On Saturday, May 23, 2009, Governor John Baldacci proclaimed July 12 as Wyeth Day throughout the State of Maine, and urged all citizens to honor N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Betsy James Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth who have collectively served this state for almost ninety years. On Sunday, July 12, the Farnsworth Art Museum will be celebrating Wyeth Day with three very special events: A presentation with Stanford professor Wanda Corn, special docent tours, and the opportunity to record oral histories.
 
At 1 p.m., at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, Professor Wanda Corn will celebrate Andrew Wyeth’s life and birthday with a discussion entitled “Andrew Wyeth through the Eyes of an Art Historian.” Corn will present a selection of paintings from the artist’s career in an illustrated interview with Farnsworth Director of Education Roger Dell. This is a special opportunity to learn about Andrew Wyeth’s paintings through the eyes of a scholar. A question and answer period will follow the conversation. Corn, the Robert & Ruth Halperin Professor Emeritus in Art History at Stanford University, is one of the country’s foremost scholars of American art. She is the author of The Art of Andrew Wyeth, published in 1973. This event is free of charge and reservations are not required.
 
Preceding and following Professor Corn’s Strand presentation, Farnsworth docents will lead special tours of Andrew Wyeth’s work. Come join them at the museum and at the Olson House in Cushing for guided drop-in tours of both the artists work and his world. At 11 a.m. in the museum’s Hadlock and Wyeth Study Center galleries, participants will learn first-hand about Wyeth’s tempera, watercolor and pencil drawings, from his early childhood drawings to his recent works. At 3 p.m. at the Olson House, docents will share the story of Wyeth’s soulful connection to this isolated, saltwater farm and his dedicated creative process on-site that led to renowned works such as Christina’s World, which he completed in 1948. Interested participants should meet at the Farnsworth’s main entrance on Museum Street at 11 a.m. and the Olson House at 3 p.m. For directions to the Olson House in Cushing, please visit the museum’s new website at www.farnsworthmuseum.org/olson-house. The tours are free of charge with museum admission and advanced reservations are not required
 
Additionally, from 10 am – 2 pm, those who have a story to share about Andrew Wyeth will be able to have it recorded for history. The Story Bank Maine team of Audio specialist Rob Rosenthal of Salt, and folklorist Kathleen Mundell of Cultural Resources will be on hand throughout the day in a portable recording studio set up in the museum to record these recollections. You may have chatted with Andrew Wyeth as he worked on a painting or perhaps spoke with him while having dinner in an area restaurant. Perhaps you simply want to share how the artist has influenced your life. If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact Janice Kasper at 596-6457 ext.113 to schedule an interview. 
 
Modeled after the highly successful Story Corps, Story Bank Maine goal is to listen, record and share narratives about Maine people and their places. Story Bank Maine is a project of Cultural Resources, an organization that works with communities to help people sustain their local culture and the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine. Copies of your recorded story will be kept at the Maine Folklife Center and at the Farnsworth Museum. Selected stories may be aired on Maine Public Radio.
 
Andrew Wyeth, photo by Peter Ralston
Andrew Wyeth, Photo by Peter Ralston