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Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait

Richard Meryman, Andrew Wyeth biographer and lifelong friend; reporter, correspondent, editor, and staff writer, Life magazine. Richard Meryman began an enduring friendship with Andrew Wyeth while writing for Life magazine in 1964. Over four decades, he recorded some 600 hours of conversations with Wyeth as well as with family, friends, and neighbors in Pennsylvania and Maine — ​including Christina Olson, subject of the renowned painting Christina’s World. Meryman’s book Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait offers a taste of those recordings, skillfully crafted into five monologues on key themes in Wyeth’s work. In this lecture recorded on May 18, 2014, in honor of the exhibition Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In, Meryman shares a selection of audio recordings and the process of writing about Wyeth’s spoken self-portrait. We hear Wyeth speak vividly of people and places that triggered memories and emotions to which he gave powerful expression in his art. He shares personal experiences and talks about artists who inspired him and why, revealing profound understanding of these influences. The exhibition, organized by the National Gallery of Art, will be on view only in Washington through November 30, 2014.