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Andrew Wyeth, Spring Fed, 1967, tempera on masonite, Collection of Bill and Robin Weiss, © Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth at the Movies: The Story of an Obsession

Henry Adams, professor of American art, Case Western Reserve University. Andrew Wyeth first saw King Vidor’s anti-war film The Big Parade when he was eight years old, and its emotional impact was overwhelming. Eventually, this experience inspired his first connected series of works. It became still more important to him in the traumatic aftermath of his father’s death. During the course of his life he viewed the film some two hundred times, and many of his most famous paintings, including Christina’s World, reenact key moments in the movie. In this lecture recorded on June 15, 2014 at the National Gallery of Art, Henry Adams explores Wyeth’s fascination with World War I and The Big Parade, and the ways in which Vidor’s path-breaking narrative approach and innovations in film technique encouraged Wyeth to rethink the expressive and philosophical possibilities of painting. This program has been scheduled to coincide with the exhibition Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In, organized by the National Gallery of Art, on view only in Washington through November 30, 2014.