Brandywine River Museum puts focus on N.C. Wyeth, and other Civil War art

CHADDS FORD — Throughout his career, N. C. Wyeth was commissioned to paint Civil War subjects as illustrations, murals and even calendar pictures.  Despite their different uses, these images presented the war-battles, soldiers and civilians-in a romantic, heroic manner which reflected a national desire to focus on duty, loyalty and bravery.

The Brandywine River Museum will feature an exhibition of some of those works,  Jan. 22 through March 20, culminating with a lecture March 16 by the museum’s Associate curator for N. C. Wyeth Collections, Christine Podmaniczky on the artist’s depiction of Civil War subjects.

The exhibition examines how Wyeth prepared for these commissions and how, sometimes creating a picture at odds with its text, he portrayed the war as a courageous struggle and the combatants as noble warriors.  Also on view will be Illustrations of the Civil War, featuring many fine examples from the museum’s collections, including works by Alonzo Chappel, Harry Fenn, Winslow Homer and Howard Pyle.

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