StampNews.com is glad to present a new set of United States stamps that pays tribute to one of America’s most highly regarded 20th-century artists, Andrew Wyeth. The full pane of Andrew Wyeth stamps features a dozen paintings created between 1942 and 2003. The photograph in the pane’s selvage shows Wyeth at work on a painting in his studio.
The issue date is 100 years to the day after Wyeth was born July 12, 1917, in Chadds Ford, Pa.
Working in a realistic style that defied artistic trends, Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009) created haunting and enigmatic paintings based largely on people and places in his life, a body of work that continues to resist easy or comfortable interpretation. Issued to commemorate the centennial of his birth, these stamps celebrate Wyeth as one of the most prominent American artists of the 20th century.
This sheet includes 12 stamps that each feature a detail of a different Andrew Wyeth painting. The paintings are: “Wind from the Sea” (1947), “Big Room” (1988), “Christina’s World” (1948), “Alvaro and Christina” (1968), “Frostbitten” (1962), “Sailor’s Valentine” (1985), “Soaring” (1942–1950), “North Light” (1984), “Spring Fed” (1967), “The Carry” (2003), “Young Bull” (1960), and “My Studio” (1974). The selvage shows a photograph of Wyeth from the 1930s.
The son of renowned illustrator N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth was born and raised in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Wyeth and his wife lived in Chadds Ford while typically spending each summer and early fall in Maine. In both places, he scrutinized the lives, houses, and personal belongings of the people around him, finding particular inspiration in the German immigrants on a nearby Chadds Ford farm and often painting portraits of them and views in and around their home.
By this time, the tendencies that define much of his work were taking shape, among them a focus on death and loss; the use of places and objects to serve as stand-ins for people; an intense and unsentimental scrutiny of nature; and an often startling austerity and stark lack of color.
Rather than depict nature with photographic accuracy, however, Wyeth used painting to convey emotions that were difficult to put into words. His work often reflected memories, associations, and echoes from his personal life, including his own distinctive sense of the wondrous and the strange.