From the Publisher
"As beautiful as you would expect, and three times as fun as you might think to read."Eizabeth Bird, New York Public Library Youth Materials Collections Specialist"
An informative, visually appealing presentation."-Booklist, starred review"
An informative and visually pleasing introduction to three generations of artists."Booklist Top 10 Biographies for Youth
A Junior Library Guild Selection
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Reminiscent of the Duchamps of France, the Wyeths are a family of painters: three generations, in fact, of artists. Here, the author gives a chronological account of how the Wyeth men came to be painters and of how their lives intersected. This "first family of American art" began with Newel Convers (N.C.), Massachusetts-born in 1882, oil painter and noted illustrator for both major magazines and a series of children's classics such as Treasure Island. His son Andrew (1917–2009), whose initial artistic success came at the young age of 20, originally used watercolors to create scenes of Maine life, then switched to tempera to paint works such as his poignant "Christina's World." Andrew's son Jamie, the only one of the three still alive, uses combined media to create his portraits of dogs, friends, and neighbors. The text is clear, concise, and very complete for such a slim volume. While the family's existence in the Pennsylvania countryside and the sea coast of Maine often seems idyllic, Rubin does not shy away from recounting family eccentricities, disagreements, and problems. The women in the three artists' lives are shown to be important influences in the men's work, but all of them remain in the background. This well-told biography is beautifully illustrated with color reproductions of all three artists' works and a few black-and-white family photos. While Robert D. San Souci used N.C.'s illustrations to accompany his picture-book text in N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims (Chronicle, 1991), and Richard Meryman's First Impressions: Andrew Wyeth (Abrams, 1991) is recommended for teenagers, Rubin's is the first title to combine the lives of all three artists in a work geared to a middle school audience. An ideal introduction to the Wyeths.—Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
A perceptive, if undersized and overdesigned, introduction to a dynasty of American painters. Playing to her well-established strengths, Rubin (Delicious! The Life & Art of Wayne Thiebaud, 2007, etc.) does a fine job of setting selected works of N.C. Wyeth, his son Andrew and his grandson Jamie into biographical context and explicating emotional substrates in their art. This is particularly important with Andrew, whose pictures are often oblique expressions of private feelings or incidents. The analysis is, however, embedded in references to other family members (several of whom were also artists, though none of their work is illustrated or discussed here), along with moves to various residences, gallery shows, awards, honors and other details that will be less than compelling to young readers. Moreover, the type and background color scheme does nothing but call attention to itself by changing with every page turn (the purple type on gray background is a particularly unfortunate choice). Though nearly every spread offers a sharply reproduced image of a painting or drawing (or an occasional photo), the volume's modest trim size cramps the often large originals. Still, Rubin's portrait of this creative clan merits at least a look by students of both book illustration and American fine art in general. (index, bibliography) (Biography. 11-14)