Newell Convers Wyeth

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Newell Convers Wyeth, better known as ''N.C. Wyeth,'' was the patriarch of the famous Wyeth family of artists, and provided illustrations for such classics as Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and Last of the Mohicans. N.C. Wyeth's work for the American Red Cross consisted of seven illustrations for The Red Cross Magazine, 1918-19, and a memorable poster produced for the 1933 Roll Call, The American Red Cross Carries On . . . Join!.

One of America's greatest illustrators, Wyeth gave exciting visual life to more than a century of classic adventure stories. From the Wild West, to pirates, to Robinson Crusoe to the books of Robert Louis Stevenson and James Fenimore Cooper his work graced magazine covers, books and calendars. For the 20th Century's biggest, and real adventure, World War II, Wyeth created some memorable and heroic images.

Newell Convers Wyeth is the head of several generations of important American artists. He was the father of Andrew, Henriette and Carolyn Wyeth, the grandfather of Jamie Wyeth, the father-in-law of Peter Hurd, and the list goes on.

He was born in 1882 - the same year as Bauer, Dulac and Pogany. An inveterate ''drawer'' as a child, Wyeth began his formal art training very sporadically, jumping from school to school (including a short stay at the Eric Pape School) and instructor to instructor until, at age 20, he was accepted into the Howard Pyle School for the 1902 sessions.

David Michaelis, in his excellent N.C. Wyeth: A Biography, charts Wyeth's life, including his complex relationship with Pyle, through letters, interviews and a bit of speculative history. If you're a Wyeth fan and have resisted reading the book for any reason, I found it most fascinating and learned much about Pyle as well as Wyeth.