ROCKLAND, Maine — The site of Andrew Wyeth’s most famous painting will be among four in the area to benefit from a new $12 million endowment campaign in support of the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Wyeth-related properties.
The Farnsworth, which owns and operates four properties, including the Olson House in Cushing where Andrew Wyeth painted his legendary “Christina’s World,” announced Friday the creation of the Andrew Wyeth Memorial Endowment campaign.
The funds are expected to be realized through a one-time auction of works donated by artists, collectors, philanthropists and others. The auction is scheduled to take place in October 2010 at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City.
Members of the Wyeth family will make lead gifts for the auction, which will include works by N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth.
Andrew Wyeth, whose “Christina’s World” was hanging in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City at the time of his death in January at age 91, is the son of N.C. Wyeth and the father of Jamie Wyeth.
“This endowment is important to the Wyeth family as well,” Phyllis Wyeth, the wife of Jamie Wyeth, in a statement. “It is an expression of the family’s deep belief that the legacy of Andrew Wyeth is intimately tied to the Farnsworth, here on the coast of Maine, where he spent almost every summer of his life, where he created so much of his finest work, and where he was so at home and so loved.”
In addition to the Olson House, the Farnsworth owns and operates the Wyeth Study Center, the Wyeth Center, and the Wyeth Research Center.
Michael Komanecky, the museum’s interim director and chief curator, said the endowment is “nothing less than a transformative event” in the Farnsworth’s history.
“This kind of support is often extremely difficult to obtain in that it is less visible than the programs themselves, though every bit as important,” he said in a statement. “The income from this endowment will enable the museum to concentrate its fundraising efforts on securing the resources to provide programs that further the museum’s mission of celebrating Maine’s role in American art.”
Over the years the Farnsworth has been one of the nation’s major showcases for Wyeth family art.