Andy Wyeth’s Toy Soldiers

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).

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/hobby-learning-1-andrew-wyeth/

Jenna emailed me with news of the new exhibition:

“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.”

The Seattle Art Museum is scheduled to exhibit Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect, which showcases Andrew Wyeth https://www.artsy.net/show/seattle-art-museum-andrew-wyeth-in-retrospect

http://wyeth.site.seattleartmuseum.org

The Artsy Andrew Wyeth page provides visitors with Wyeth’s bio, over 40 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Wyeth exhibition listings. https://www.artsy.net/artist/andrew-wyeth

“I dream a lot. I do more painting when I’m not painting. It’s in the subconscious.”
Andrew Wyeth

This was a good chance to go back to my previous post on Andrew Wyeth, a painter of landscape and portraits, one of my favourite American painters

Since my last Wyeth post, I have noticed much more Wyeth material online and via YouTube.

Andrew Wyeth collected American dimestore and composition figures, shown here in this Youtube video.

New Wyeth material

There is interesting new photos of Andrew or Andy Wyeth by his granddaughter Victoria Browning Wyeth, http://gcma.org/victoria-wyeth-my-andy/

https://www.vogue.com/article/andrew-wyeth-victoria-wyeth-my-andy-exhibition

and several recent print or video interviews with her including about having her portrait  painted by him.

The Brandywine School

Andrew Wyeth painted manly portraits and landscapes. His father was  a historical illustrators,  N.C. Wyeth, who worked with  Howard Pyle and other painters of the Brandywine School and style.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandywine_School

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.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brandywine

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Airfix box art (from Plastic Soldier Review website)

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.

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Airfix box art (from Plastic Soldier Review website)

These Airfix box covers have some of the appeal of Howard Pyle’s famous Revolutionary War illustration Nation Makers.

https://www.rockwell-center.org/essays-illustration/the-nation-makers/

http://www.brandywine.org/museum/collection/collection-highlights/nation-makers

So whilst I am unlikely to make it to Seattle or Brandywine any time soon to see the Wyeth exhibitions in his Centenary year, at least online I can catch a glimpse.

There you go, mixing Andrew Wyeth with Airfix in one blogpost, something that toy soldier collector Andrew Wyeth would have appreciated.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blogpost, 12 November 2017

 

 

Safari Toob Pirate Set

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Handy barrel, rope and cannonball scenery feature as well as duelling figures in the Safari Toob pirate set.

Some really useful Treasure Island type figures here, some that no doubt early gaming writer Robert Louis Stevenson would have enjoyed.

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A tiny Pirate ship in the background, this Skeleton Compass leads these two Toob pirate figures onwards in their map hunt for buried treasure. Palm tree is a Tiger stores cocktail stick. (Photo: Man of TIN)

Safari’s   Pirate Toob set has some interesting and useful 54mm or  1:32  plastic prepainted figures for gaming in the 18th and 19th Century.

The duelling figures with swords out would work really well with Donald Featherstone’s simple sword fight rules in  one of my favourite Featherstone chapters “Wargaming in Bed” in his book Solo Wargaming.

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Nice touches like the monkey on the shoulder.
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This Toob pirate reminds me of a pirate book illustration by American painter Howard Pyle. Shame about the wonky musket.

The Buccaneer was a Picturesque Fellow” by Howard Pyle is the oil painting, which the illustration was of, was sold in 1905 under the title The Buccaneer, and is currently part of the Delaware Art Museum’s collection.

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Howard Pyle’s The Buccaneer.  (Source image: Wikipedia)
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Again, nice detail seen from the back like the pirate parrot or macaw. Useful atmospheric barrels, cannon balls and rope cluster.
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Excellent injured pirate or veteran
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Good back details on this peg leg pirate.
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Hmmm. Something vaguely 1980s pop star or biker about this pirate. One for a paint conversion … nice cannon though!

The set also has a useful lady pirate based on contemporary illustrations of Mary Read and Ann Bonny. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Bonny#

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Female pirate based on Ann Bonny, less scantily clad than the engraving.
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Ann Bonny
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Contemporary image or engraving of Ann Bonny (Source image: Wikipedia)

Safari Toob figure sets or Toobs are not cheap so probably do not qualify for inclusion on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors website:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com

They do sit well alongside the much cheaper Hing Fat pirates which almost qualify for (seaside) pound store status.

Lots of conversion possibilities!

More about this Toob and Safari figures at their website:

https://www.safariltd.com/toobs-pirates-figurines-680804

They are about $12 dollars from Safari Ltd.com or from Amazon UK about £12 (to £15 RRP).

This gets you 6 figures, 7 if you count the skeleton,  along with the  cannon, barrels and the tiny ship.

I will post further Safari Toob figure set reviews over the next few weeks, the Jamestown settlers and Powhatan Indians and Native American Indian / Wild West set.

American customers have access to a range of Civil War and Revolutionary War figure Safari Toobs.

Posted by Mark, Mr MIN Man of TIN blog, December 2016.

 

Hobby Learning # 1: Andrew Wyeth

What I like about gaming and toy soldiers are all the incidental things you learn.

Such “Hobby Learning” you might assume  to be all about battles, weapons and suchlike.

“The pleasure does not begin and end with the actual playing of the war-game. There are many pleasant hours to be spent in making model soldiers, painting them, constructing terrain, carrying out research into battles, tactics and uniforms …”

Donald Featherstone, War Games 1962

However you find out a lot about many other subjects, including art and painters such as Andrew Wyeth.

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Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World  (Image source: MOMA / Wikipedia)

 

I had only known of  Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009) through his famous and much reproduced Americana painting Christina’s World.

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Harold Pestana’s lovely redcoat toy soldiers feature on the front cover of Richard Scholl’s Toys Soldiers book.

 

However reading Richard Scholl’s Toy Soldiers book about the Malcolm Forbes Toy Soldier Collection (2004, Courage Books USA) I came across this delightful ‘Borrowers’ style tiny figures by a sunlit window frame sketch by Andrew Wyeth, a 1962 painting known as “The British at Brandywine.”

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Andrew Wyeth toy soldier sketch in Richard Scholl’s book Toy Soldiers (Courage Books, USA, 2004) about the Malcolm Forbes Toy Soldier Collection.

This letter / sketch was sold at Sotheby’s in 2010: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2010/the-malcolm-forbes-toy-collection-n08706/lot.197.html

After Richard Scholl’s book I looked up “Andrew Wyeth” +  “Toy Soldiers” or “Military Miniatures” and found an interesting YouTube video “Andrew Wyeth Military Figurines”  (Lora Engelhart, 17 April 2012) about his dimestore / composition collection of American Toy Soldiers at his house / studio being curated and conserved.

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1940s composition pilot in my collection (Photo / figure: Man of TIN collection)

I have a few of these interesting American and composition figures in my own collection.

There are lots of other YouTube interviews and features about Wyeth and his artistic family and landscape to follow up.

Wyeth’s 1962 “The British at Brandywine” seen in the top right of the framed letter features a typical Wyeth “looking out of a window or slanting light through a windowpane” motif,  repeated through over 300 Wyeth sketches and  paintings, something picked up in a recent US National Gallery of Art in Washington exhibition: https://andreapawley.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/andrew-wyeth-at-the-national-gallery-of-art/

There is also a very interesting blogpost biography and a few photos of his toy soldiers seen during a visit to Wyeth’s preserved studio at Chadd’s Ford, PA (Pennsylvania).

http://ashorthistoryblog.com/andys-world-the-life-of-andrew-wyeth/

Wyeth’s world was the terrain of the American War of Independence and where the Battle of Brandywine Creek was fought. Hence the gift of the Revolutionary War soldiers being highly  appropriate.

Andrew’s father N.C. Wyeth was a well known illustrator of books featuring historical topics. He was part of the Brandywine School of painting, an artist’s colony set up by American artist and illustrator Howard Pyle, famous for his pirate and battle paintings.

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Nationmakers, painting by Howard Pyle in 1903 depicting Washington’s troops at  the Brandywine Creek battle of the Revolutionary War (now hanging in the Brandywine Creek Museum) Image Source: Wikipedia.

The Brandywine School was a style of illustration as well as an artists colony in Wilmington, Delaware and in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania, near Brandywine River.  Both were  founded by American artist Howard Pyle (1853–1911) in the late 19th century. Many of these pictures were widely published in adventure novels, magazines, and romances in the early 1900s. http://www.rockwell-center.org/essays-illustration/the-nation-makers/

See the collection in http://www.brandywine.org/museum/collection

including an interesting N.C. Wyeth dream painting http://www.brandywine.org/museum/collection/collection-highlights/dream-i-meet-general-washington

As well as N.C. Wyeth, one of the other pupils that Howard Pyle tutored was American illustrator Jessie Wilcox Smith. Wilcox painted this interesting illustration of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Land Of Counterpane poem, about which we will post a separate future blog post on gaming and toy soldiers in bed.

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Land of Counterpane by  Jessie Willcox Smith  (Image source: Wikipedia)

The things you learn … All good gaming inspiration.

Blogposted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, July 2016.