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N. C. Wyeth
NC Wyeth ca1920.jpg
N. C. Wyeth, c. 1920
Newell Convers Wyeth

(1882-10-22)October 22, 1882
Needham, Massachusetts, United States
Died October 19, 1945(1945-10-19) (aged 62)
Nationality American
Known for Illustration, painting
Notable work
Treasure Island
Robinson Crusoe

Newell Convers Wyeth (October 22, 1882 – October 19, 1945), known as N. C. Wyeth, was an American artist and illustrator. He was the pupil of artist Howard Pyle and became one of America's greatest illustrators. During his lifetime, Wyeth created more than 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books — 25 of them for Scribner's, the Scribner Classics, which is the body of work for which he is best known. The first of these, Treasure Island, was one of his masterpieces and the proceeds paid for his studio. Wyeth was a realist painter at a time when the camera and photography began to compete with his craft. Sometimes seen as melodramatic, his illustrations were designed to be understood quickly. Wyeth, who was both a painter and an illustrator, understood the difference, and said in 1908, "Painting and illustration cannot be mixed—one cannot merge from one into the other."

He is the father of Andrew Wyeth and the grandfather of Jamie Wyeth, both well-known American painters.

Death and legacy

In June 1945, he had received the honorary degree of master of arts from Bowdoin College. Wyeth was a member of the National Academy, the Society of Illustrators, the Philadelphia Water Color Club, the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Chester County Art Association, and the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts.

In October 1945, Wyeth and his grandson (Nathaniel C. Wyeth's son) were killed when the automobile they were riding in was struck by a freight train at a railway crossing (39.870747°, -75.576979°) near his Chadds Ford home. At the time, Wyeth had been working on an ambitious series of murals for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company depicting the Pilgrims at Plymouth, a series completed by Andrew Wyeth and John McCoy.

Significant public collections of Wyeth's work are on display at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, in Maine at the Portland Museum of Art, and at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine. The Brandywine River Museum offers tours of the N. C. Wyeth House and Studio in Chadds Ford. The home and studio were designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1997. The home and studio are open to the public for tours. His studio is set up as if he has just left — the palette he used on the day of his death sits by his last canvas.

  • Stevenson, R. L. - Treasure Island (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1911)
  • Stevenson, R. L. - Kidnapped (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1913)
  • Clemens, S. - The Mysterious Stranger (Harper, 1916)
  • Stevenson, R. L. - The Black Arrow (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1916)
  • Creswick, P. - Robin Hood (David McKay, Philadelphia, 1917)
  • Verne, J. - The Mysterious Island (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1918)
  • Cooper, J. F. - The Last of the Mohicans (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1919)
  • Malory, T. - The Boy's King Arthur (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1920)
  • Kingsley, C. - Westward Ho! (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1920)
  • Defoe, D. - Robinson Crusoe (Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1920)
  • Irving, W. - Rip Van Winkle (David McKay, Philadelphia, 1921)
  • Longfellow, H. W. - The Courtship of Miles Standish (Harrap, 1921)
  • MacSpadden, J.W. & Wilson, C. - Robin Hood (Harrap, 1921)
  • Porter, J. - The Scottish Chiefs (Hodder, 1921)
  • Doyle, A. C. - The White Company (Cosmopolitan Book Corp. 1922)
  • Matthews, J. B. - Poems of American Patriotism (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1922)
  • Bullfinch, T. - Legends of Charlemagne (David McKay, Philadelphia, 1924)
  • Stevenson, R. L. - David Balfour (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1924)
  • Cooper, J. F. - The Deerslayer (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1925)
  • Parkman, F. - The Oregon Trial (Little Brown, 1925)
  • Verne, J. - Michael Strogoff (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1927)
  • Boyd, J. - Drums (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1928)
  • Homer - The Odyssey (Houghton, 1929)
  • Rollins, P. A. - Jinglebob (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1930)
  • ____ The Parables of Jesus (David McKay, Philadelphia, 1931)
  • Fox, J. W. - The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1931)
  • Thoreau, H. D. - Men of Concord (Houghton Mifflin, 1936)
  • Jackson, H. M. H. - Ramona (Little Brown, 1939)
  • Rawlings, M. K. - The Yearling (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1939)

Other works

The Alchemist N.C. Wyeth 1937
The Alchemist N.C. Wyeth 1937
  • Mowing (1907)
  • Long John Silver and Hawkins (1911)
  • The Long Roll (1911)
  • The Great Train Robbery (1912)
  • Cease Firing (1912)
  • The Sampo: A Wonder Tale of the North (1912)
  • The Fence Builders (1915)
  • The Mysterious Stranger (1916)
  • The Scottish Chiefs (1921) by Jane Porter (originally published 1809)
  • Stand and Deliver (1921)
  • Rip Van Winkle (1921)
  • The Giant (1922)
  • Drums (1925, reissued in 1928 and 1953) a book by James Boyd with illustrations by N. C. Wyeth and
  • The Deerslayer (Scribners, 1925, reissued in 1929) by James Fenimore Cooper (originally published 1841)
  • Reception to Washington on April 21, 1789, at Trenton on his way to New York to Assume the Duties of the Presidency of the United States (1930), a 17-foot by 12-foot painting
  • Apotheosis of the Family (1932): a 60-foot-by-19-foot mural including likenesses of members of the Wyeth family, located in a building in downtown Wilmington, Delaware
  • Dying Winter (1934)
  • Men of Concord and some others as portrayed in the Journal of Henry David Thoreau (1936), a book edited by Francis H. Allen, with illustrations by N.C. Wyeth
  • The Alchemist (1937)
  • They Took Their Wives with Them on Their Cruises (1938)
  • Deep Cove Lobsterman (1939)
  • The War Letter (1944)
  • Nightfall (1945)


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