Beckie King


Andrew Wyeth ( American, 1917 - 2009 )

January 17, 1946
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General Description

In Beckie King, Andrew Wyeth depicts the stoic elderly woman meticulously dressed in her nightgown and bed jacket with her hair carefully braided behind her ear. The texture of King's weathered face and hands contrast with her shiny, patterned garments and wispy hair. This work is typical of Wyeth's sharply defined pencil drawings. A similar attention to detail and precision appears in the work of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), whom Wyeth greatly admired. Intended to be a study for a painted portrait, the pencil likeness of Beckie King was the only view produced before her death.

Adapted from

  • Angie Morrow, DMA documentation, TMS data, April 11, 2001.
  • P.F.R., DMA research document, n.d., Education files.

Fun Facts

  • This work is signed by both the artist and sitter. Beckie King's autograph appears in the lower left corner.
  • The DMA owns another example of Andrew Wyeth's technical process. That Gentleman Study (1962.11) was also created as a preparatory study for a larger tempera portrait (1962.27).