ROCKLAND — The Farnsworth Art Museum will present the fourth season of the annual lecture series “Achieving American Art.” The six-part series, titled “Andrew Wyeth and Post-World War II Art,“ will examine the art of Andrew Wyeth, particularly the 30 years (1938–68) that Wyeth worked at the Olson House in Cushing, in the broader context of American art. He was one of many American artists whose work was representational, depicting and referencing their observations of the world in which they lived. At the same time, however, and especially after World War II, abstraction increasingly became the artistic language of the avant-garde. How then does one assess the work of Andrew Wyeth within this historical context of American art?
This year’s “Achieving American Art” will be an art history leadup to the Farnsworth’s summer exhibition “Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World and the Olson House” (June 11-Oct. 30). The lectures will be held every Wednesday in The Strand Theatre at 5:30 p.m. from May 4 through June 8. Series tickets are $60 for Farnsworth members and $72 for nonmembers. Individual lecture tickets are available with no reservations at the door, $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Full-time students and teachers are admitted free, reservations required. For more information, call the Farnsworth Education Department at 596-0949 or visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org/education.
The first lecture is entitled “American Art from the Beginning of the Twentieth Century to the Great Depression” and will take place Wednesday, May 4. Julie Caro, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art, Colby College, will discuss the ideas, styles and controversies that characterized the American art world into which Andrew Wyeth emerged as an artist. Beginning with the Ash Can School to the infamous 1913 Armory Show that introduced European modernism to this country through the work of the Precisionists, American Scene Painters and Social Realists, this lecture will examine the artistic and cultural context of Andrew Wyeth’s early career.