Image of Andew Wyeth.
This documentary film tells the story of one of America’s most popular, but least understood, artists–Andrew Wyeth. While his exhibitions routinely broke attendance records, art world critics assaulted his work. Through unprecedented access to Wyeth family members and archival materials, WYETH presents the most complete portrait of the artist ever.
After the film, join PAFA for a discussion of Andrew Wyeth's lasting legacy and his impact on the world of painting with WYETH director Glenn Holsten and painter Bo Bartlett (Certificate '80).
About the Film
WYETH is a stunningly beautiful film that uses footage inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s artwork to tell his life’s story.
Coming from a family of successful artists, including his commanding father, N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth was raised to be an artist. Unprecedented access to archival footage from the Wyeth family reveals his early immersion in a creative world.
Andrew Wyeth exhibitions consistently broke attendance records at the most prestigious art museums across the country. Detailing the stunning drawings and powerful portraits created in Pennsylvania and on the coast of Maine, WYETH shows the artist’s mastery of the form and why his work appealed to audiences around the world. Remarkably, the filmmaking team has access to many of the locations that provided continual inspiration to Andrew Wyeth during his lifetime. Our cameras visit these places—his studio and the Kuerner Farm in Chadds Ford, PA, the Olson House in Cushing, Maine (the location for his famous Christina’s World)—and lovingly bring them to life.
He confidently continued to paint the people and places he knew, undeterred by the dramatic evolution of the art world. His sensational paintings of Helga Testorf landed cover stories in both Time and Newsweek. Interviews with family and friends—including Helga—demonstrate the effect on Andrew of living and working in the public eye.
Now, with the distance of time, art critics and historians are rediscovering and reinterpreting his work. Layers of complexity in the art are revealed and celebrated by some of the most preeminent scholars of American art.
Amidst these moving testimonies is the work. The stunning drawings, studies, paintings and powerful portraits that capture the “frozen motion” that Wyeth was seeking throughout his life. WYETH builds a life, layer by layer, much in the way Andrew Wyeth created his exquisite master paintings–meticulous study followed by layer upon layer of tempera.
Glenn Holsten is a documentary storyteller who creates human-driven films, from the arts to the sciences. Long-form documentary directing credits include Flowing Water (6abc); The Barefoot Artist (Netflix); Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968, (OVATION, 2010); and Saint of 9/11 (Tribeca Film Festival, IFC theatrical release, 2006, Netflix). Glenn has been honored with sixteen Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. A collection of his work was exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 20th Century Video Gallery. Glenn has directed films in China, Portugal, Kenya, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Poland, Bosnia and the Republic of Georgia.
Bo Bartlett (Certificate '80) is an American realist painter who works in the tradition of Grant Wood, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth. Bartlett’s paintings combine the profound qualities of everyday life with the semantic obscurity of René Magritte. “Bartlett looks at America’s heart—its land and its people—and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life,” museum director Tom Butler wrote of him. Born on December 29, 1955 in Columbus, GA, Bartlett studied in Florence, Italy before attending PAFA. In 2018, the artist and Columbus State University unveiled the Bo Bartlett Center, with a mission to bring arts to the community. He currently lives and works between Columbus, GA and Wheaton Island, ME with his wife the artist Betsy Eby. Today, Bartlett’s works are held in the collections of PAFA, the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina, the Denver Museum of Art, and the Seattle Art Museum, among others.