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DELAWARE ART MUSEUM PRESENTS “SOMETHING WAITS BENEATH IT”—
EARLY WORK BY ANDREW WYETH, 1939–1969
Wilmington, DE (February 20, 2006)—The Delaware Art Museum presents “Something Waits Beneath It”—Early Work by Andrew Wyeth, 1939-1969, on display from March 29 through July 16, 2006, an intimate exhibition of more than 30 early and seldom seen works by the young Andrew Wyeth, including watercolors and tempera paintings of coastal Maine and eastern Pennsylvania made from 1939 through the 1960s. Eleven illustrated letters, with 18 watercolor and ink sketches, reveal the private observations of the artist—capturing glimpses of napping dogs, a bowl of holly, a nearby stream, a country kitchen. It is these very objects, animate and inanimate, that often disappear from finished paintings that provide the mystery infusing so much of Wyeth’s art.
“Something waits beneath it,” Wyeth said, speaking of his preference for the autumnal and wintry landscape. “The whole story doesn’t show.” This presence—animating Wyeth’s landscapes, portraits, and studies of weathered architecture—inspired critics in 1943 to call the 26-year-old painter a “magic realist.” Rendered in precise detail, his scenes nonetheless often harbor a spectral undertone. What “doesn’t show” may be the artist’s most enduring subject.
While modest in scale, this exhibition is enriched by its context in the Delaware Art Museum, which is well known for its collections of American art and illustration. These collections provide a frequent and ongoing source of inspiration for Andrew Wyeth, who can occasionally be found in the galleries gazing at favorite works by Howard Pyle, the American illustrator and painter, among others. “One of my greatest pleasures,” said Executive Director Danielle Rice, “is seeing artists studying the art in the Museum. Imagine my delight at knowing that we continue to be a source of inspiration for someone as accomplished, imaginative, and thoughtful as Andrew Wyeth!”
Drawn almost entirely from the permanent holdings of the Delaware Art Museum, this exhibition complements and coincides with Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic, on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Andrew Wyeth: Master Drawings from the Artist’s Collection, featured at the Brandywine River Museum during the same time period.
The Delaware Art Museum, located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway in Wilmington, is open Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed on Monday and free on Sunday. Regular admission is adults $10, seniors $8, college students $5, and youth $3, with children six and under entering for free. The Delaware Art Museum also offers educational programs for students, teachers, and groups. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or visit the website at http://www.delart.org.
Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum holds a world-renowned collection of more than 12,000 works focusing on American art and illustration from the 19th to the 21st century as well as the English Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-19th century. Newly renovated and expanded, the Delaware Art Museum offers an outdoor Sculpture Park, the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, studio art classes, an interactive Kids’ Corner learning area, the delART Café featuring free Wi-Fi access, and the Museum Store with distinctive books and gifts.