New Trails by Newell Convers Wyeth

New Trails by Newell Convers Wyeth

Gilt framed oil on canvas on board entitled New Trails signed and dated lower right by the artist Newell Convers Wyeth (American, (1882 – 1945) 1934 50×86

Replacement Value: $1,900,000

N. (Newell) C. (Convers) Wyeth (October 22, 1882-October 19, 1945), is one of the most celebrated illustrators in the history of art. He grew up on a farm in New England, and studied at the Massachusetts Normal Arts School where he attended classes taught by illustrators Eric Pape and Charles W. Reed. During 1902-04 he studied with the great illustrator Howard Pyle in Wilmington, Delaware.

Wyeth accepted a commission from Scribner’s and the Saturday Evening Post to paint western scenes, and traveled in the west to gain first hand knowledge of subjects. He worked as a ranch hand in Colorado and rode mail routes in New Mexico and Arizona.

In 1906, Wyeth and Carolyn Brenneman Bockius were married in the Wilmington Unitarian church, and they made their home in nearby Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The focus of his painting soon shifted to the land and people of the region in which he lived.

In 1911, Wyeth won a commission from Charles Scribner’s Sons to illustrate a new edition of R. L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island, a work that made him famous. He provided illustrations for dozens of other classic books, including Kidnapped (1913), The Black Arrow (1916), The Legends of Robin Hood (1917), The Last of the Mohicans (1919), and The Yearling (1939).

The Wyeths were members of the First Unitarian Society of Wilmington. All their children (Nathaniel, an inventor; Ann Wyeth McCoy, a composer; and artists Henriette Wyeth Hurd, Carolyn and Andrew) grew up in the church, though none of them remained active Unitarian Universalists. The Unitarian Laymen’s League commissioned Wyeth in 1922 to illustrate a book on the parables of Jesus. He completed six paintings for the project, and they were published in the Boston Traveler.

In 1937 Wyeth donated to the Wilmington church a painting of Jesus holding a baby.

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