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Newell Convers (NC) Wyeth ( 1882 - 1945 )  Category ( Artists ) [suggest a correction]

Newell Convers WyethNewell Convers Wyeth (N. C.) was born in Needham, Massachusetts on 22 October 1882. He was the eldest of four brothers and his mother encouraged his early interest in art. He attended Mechanics Arts school, learned drafting, and then attended the Massachusetts Normal Arts School and the Eric Pape School of Art to learn illustration under George L. Noyes and Charles W. Reed.

Wyeth was invited to join a study with Howard Pyle, the "father" of American illustration in 1902. Wyeth stood out as a talented student who also was versed in literature, music, drama and debate.

Wyeth's first published illustration was a bucking bronco for a cover of the 21 February 1903 Saturday Evening Post. Wyeth was twenty-one years old at the time. One year later, the same magazine commissioned his work for a western story, and Pyle insisted that Wyeth go west to acquire direct knowledge about his subject matter.

That trip to the western U.S. inspired Wyeth to create an entire series of illustrations about cowboys, Native Americans and other iconic western images. But, when he returned to Chadds Ford, his home, he built his images on scenes in that area.

Wyeth birthed a creative family. He married Carolyn Bockius and settled in Chadds Ford in 1908 to raise a family near the historic Brandywine battlefield. His children included Andrew Wyeth, Henriette Wyeth Hurd and Nathaniel C. Wyeth. Other daughters included Carolyn and Ann Wyeth McCoy. He also was the grandfather of artist Jamie Wyeth and musician Howard "Howie" Wyeth.

From 1911 to the end of his life, Wyeth became a famed illustrator as well as a successful artist. The proceeds from his illustrations for Robert Louis Stevenson's book, Treasure Island (1911) alone paid for his house and studio. This financial freedom allowed his family to enjoy pursuit of their favorite activities.

A true patriarch to his family, yet loving and supportive, N.C. Wyeth died in 1945 when the car he was driving stalled on a train track. A milk train hit the car, killing Wyeth and his three-year-old grandson (son of Nathaniel C. Wyeth). In June that year, Wyeth received the honorary degree of masters 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 Fine Arts.

Image: N.C. Wyeth ca. 1920.

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