Celebrating ‘Phyllis Mills Wyeth’

Feb 06, 2019
The Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection Jamie Wyeth’s “Catching Pollen” is a 2012 enamel, oil and gesso on canvas.

Chadds Ford, Pa. — A memorial exhibition celebrating the life of Phyllis Mills Wyeth, late of St. George, is on view through May 5 at the Brandywine Museum, 1 Hoffman's Mill Road.

“Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration” features a selection of portraits created by her husband, artist Jamie Wyeth. From the late 1960s onward, Phyllis Wyeth served as a muse to her spouse and these intimate works capture moments from her life across the decades of their marriage. The show includes works in a variety of media that reflect Phyllis’ vibrant spirit and love of nature, horses and her ever-present dogs.

“Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration” features 28 paintings and drawings, ranging from the Jamie Wyeth’s first portrait of her (“Phyllis Mills, 1967”) — depicted outdoors and covered in fallen leaves — to more recent work, such as the lushly painted “Overslept” (2018). Jamie captured the many facets of his wife’s remarkable life, including several works that attest to her accomplishments in carriage driving; and to her success as a thoroughbred horse breeder and owner, most notably in “Winner’s Circle, Belmont Stakes” (2012), celebrating the win of her champion horse Union Rags at that illustrious race. Other Paintings attest to Phyllis’ love of nature and the distinctive landscapes surrounding her at home near Chadds Ford and in Maine. Also on view is a selection of intimate domestic scenes, painted as Christmas gifts from her husband and depicting her beloved dogs.

A catalog organized by the Brandywine will accompany the exhibition. “Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration” will travel to Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, S.C., following its presentation at the Brandywine.

Phyllis Wyeth was a member of the Brandywine’s first board of trustees in the late 1960s. Throughout ensuing decades, she was a major supporter of the organization. In addition to her work with the Brandywine she was a noted philanthropist, conservationist, environmentalist, arts supporter, accomplished horsewoman and a staunch advocate for the rights of the disabled.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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