Tuesday, November 23, 2010

N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims

This is my favorite Thanksgiving book because I love N.C. Wyeth so much.  Several years ago the Brandywine River museum had an exhibit of Howard Pyle and all of the children's illustrators he influenced and helped to train, including Wyeth.  We saw some of his original paintings and drawings for the children's books he illustrated.

Robert San Souci 1996
illustrated by N.C. Wyeth

A page at the end is dedicated to information about N.C.Wyeth. In 1940 he was commissioned to paint a series of murals that included Plymouth Colony life.

 "In these murals, Wyeth challenged the existing notions of Pilgrim society as unremittingly severe by depicting the pleasures and beauty of the colony. The paintings reveal the romantic vision and lyricism that were the hallmarks of Wyeth's style."

There's also interesting tidbits about Thanksgiving in the back pages, like how the custom had nearly died out by 1815 and it was established on the fourth Thursday of November by Congress in 1941.  The author also addresses some of the historical discrepancies in Wyeth's paintings (lovely though they are). 

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