Rereading a short article about American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) on A Short History Blog, I was interested to catch glimpses of Wyeth’s Toy Soldiers in the background on shelves etc, in his preserved studio.
Elsewhere in the background of photographs you can glimpse of field guns, a parade band, a bandstand filled with figures …
Wyeth was always fascinated by military history. As a child, his collection of toy soldiers fired his imagination, inspiring many of his first drawings. His boyhood sketches of knights and soldiers can be seen at the Christian Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford.
Wyeth’s soldiers still marched in procession along the bookshelves and windowsills in the main room of the studio. “These are the same toy soldiers I played with as a boy,” he proudly told me as we stood admiring them. They were gifts from his father.
A few weeks ago I received an email from Jenna at artsy.com, curious about why my Man of TIN blog post had turned up when she was researching web link opportunities for a new exhibition about American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009).
“I am reaching out to certain website and blog owners that publish content in line with our mission to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone. We hope to continue promoting arts education and accessibility with your help.”
Recognise that name? Brandywine, where the Wyeth family are based, is the site of a famous Battle of Brandywine Creek in the American Revolutionary War on September 11, 1777 in Chadds Ford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA.
Like many British boys growing up in the 1970s, I have had a passing interest in the Revolutionary War since having Airfix issued British and American infantry toy figures in 1:72 / 1:76 (OO / HO ‘model railway’) scale with their dramatic cover art, historical illustrations pictures that hopefully Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth would appreciate.
These Airfix box covers have some of the appeal of Howard Pyle’s famous Revolutionary War illustration Nation Makers.