Andrew Wyeth 1917-2009

The Outermost Bell

  • 24 1/4 x 30 inches (61.6 x 76.2 cm)
  • Watercolor
  • Signed lower right
  • 1959

Why We Love It

Wyeth’s watercolors have become iconic images in 20th century American art, and his work is very sought after by collectors today. This painting bears many of the key characteristics of Wyeth’s instantly identifiable style, and this haunting image is a beautiful example of this important artist’s work.

The Value

Andrew Wyeth’s extraordinary contribution to the history of American art cannot be underestimated.  He captured his subjects with a rare sensitivity and expert skill that made his style unmistakable. The Outermost Bell is a quintessential Wyeth.  The sense of emptiness and solitude that permeate the painting make it a fine example of his mature style.

Artist Background

1917: Born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. His father, N.C. Wyeth, is a distinguished artist and illustrator; 1932: Worked as apprentice in father’s studio; 1937: Had first one-man show at Macbeth Gallery; 1939: Met future wife, Betsy Merle James, who introduced him to Christina Olson, a favorite subject; 1945: N.C. Wyeth died tragically in a train accident; 1948: Painted “Christina’s World,” which was later acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; 1955: Elected to membership of American Academy of Arts and Letters; 1963: Received Presidential Medal of Freedom; 1966: Awarded gold medal of honor from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA); 1971-85: Painted major body of work known as the Helga Collection. Continued paint to Helga throughout his career; 1970: Had first major solo exhibition of art ever held at the White House, Washington, D.C.; 1977: Traveled to Europe for the first time to be inducted into French Academy of the Fine Arts; 1988: Exhibited Helga paintings for the first time at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in an exhibition titled “Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures”; 1990: Awarded Congressional Gold Medal at the White House; 2006: Philadelphia Museum of Art hosted major exhibition “Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic”; 2009: Died.