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 Henriette (Hurd) Wyeth  (1907 - 1997)

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About: Henriette (Hurd) Wyeth


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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Pennsylvania/Delaware      Known for: still life, figure, and landscape painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Henriette Wyeth
1907 (Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania)

New Mexico/Pennsylvania/Delaware

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still life, figure, and landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The first child of illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Henriette Wyeth is considered one of the great female painters of the 20th century. She did powerful still life paintings and had a distinguished career as a portraitist whose subjects included actress Helen Hays, writer Paul Horgan, and First Lady Pat Nixon.

At age eleven, she began art study with her father although polio crippled her right hand. She learned a technique of holding the brush between her first and second fingers and was an accomplished portraitist even as a teenager.

She grew up in the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania and shocked her family by marrying artist Peter Hurd, also a student of her father's, and moving to southern New Mexico. She loved the landscape and simple architecture and created a rich life for herself and husband in an area that many regarded as totally barren. She continued her painting and the Wyeth-Hurd home became a mecca for many famous people who sat for portraits, played polo, and simply enjoyed the company of their hosts.

Biography from Nedra Matteucci Galleries:

Henriette Wyeth, born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is the oldest child of the famous illustrator and artist, Newell Convers Wyeth. Her father recognized her exceptional ability to draw by the time she was five. Henriette developed her technique at her father's side and continued her formal studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. By the age of twenty, she was a successful portrait painter, earning numerous commissions.

Though Henriette vowed never to marry a painter, she fell in love with Peter Hurd, a handsome young artist from New Mexico who came to Chadds Ford to study with her father. They were married in 1929 and eventually moved to the Sentinel Ranch in San Patricio, New Mexico, to raise a family and pursue their painting careers.

Henriette is nationally recognized not only for her sensitive and mysterious still-life paintings but also her stunning realist portraits. She captured the personality and mood of her subject and rendered it in her incomparable style. During her career, Henriette received portrait commissions from such notables as Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III, Mrs. Pat Nixon, and Mrs. Helen Hayes.

Her paintings are represented in the permanent collections of the Brandywine River Museum, Pennsylvania; the Los Angeles Athletic Club, California; the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in Washington; and the Roswell Museum and Art Center, New Mexico.

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