Jim Smalley, Fisherman
Andrew Wyeth ( American, 1917 - 2009 )
In addition to artistic training, N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945) passed his great admiration for Winslow Homer (1836-1910) to his youngest son, Andrew. The Wyeth family summered in Maine, and the rocky coastline with its strong, diligent residents had attracted Homer in the late 19th century. Andrew Wyeth, in turn, studied Homer's maritime imagery and produced his own views of the terrain and inhabitants.
Wyeth's earliest exhibited works, including Jim Smalley, Fisherman, follow in the footsteps of Homer's painted seascapes. After his artistic debut in 1937, the twenty-year-old artist continued to refine his skills, eventually adopting tempera paint as his preferred medium for large-scale paintings. Jim Smalley, Fisherman represents the start of Wyeth's seventy years as a successful and immensely popular American artist.
Emily Schiller, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2015.
This modest portrait of a family neighbor was displayed in 1937 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The same year, Andrew Wyeth received wide critical acclaim for his first one-man exhibition at MacBeth Galleries (New York City) where he showed a selection of other Maine watercolors.