Jamie Wyeth helps Pennsylvania Academy celebrate 175th

Jamie Wyeth, one of America's best-known young artists, will have his first major East Coast museum exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, opening to the public Sept. 19 and continuing through Dec. 14, 1980.

The Jamie Wyeth exhibition celebrates the grand finale of the 175th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, oldest art museum and school in the country, founded in 1805.

Jamie Wyeth is the youngest artist to have so extensive a one-man exhibition in the Main Galleries of the country's oldest museum, where tradition of exhibiting what is new and exciting in contemporary art continues.

The exhibition will include works from Wyeth's first exhibition in 1966 through works completed in 1979 and 1980. More than 100 oils, watercolors, drawings, and preparatory drawings of portraits, landscapes, and paintings of animals will be on view. Many of these works, including the artist's first suite of etchings, are new and have never been exhibited before.

"I like the medium," says Wyeth about his recent introduction to etching. "It is fascinating. You never quite know if it works until you are finished. I'm working in smaller size and scale than I ever have before, and in color."

Jamie Wyeth is noted for his portraits where he attempts, as the exhibition catalogue states, "to become the sitter in his search for truth and to hope to reveal all the strengths and weaknesses -- hidden below the surface."

This is evident in earlier works like "Shorty" (1963), in his posthumous portrait of John F. Kennedy (1967), and in views of "Andrew Wyeth" (1969), "Jean Kennedy Smith" (1972), "Andy Warhol" (1976), and "Rudolph Nureyev" (1977). To capture the dancer's tension, Wyeth hid on stage one night, and was engulfed with the surge of applause when the curtain rose. Andy Warhol was painted in his own "Factory" in New York, conveying the idea of artist at home.

The exhibition travels to the Greenville County Museum, South Carolina: Jan. 17-March 19, 1981, and to the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas: April 23 -June 7, 1981.

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