In this May 1985 file photo, American artist Andrew Wyeth poses with his wife Betsy at an unknown location in front of his paintings “The Patriot,” left, and “Maga’s Daughter” for which Betsy was the model. Betsy James Wyeth, the widow, business manager and muse of painter Andrew Wyeth, died Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at age 98, according to the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pa., which she helped found. (Associated Press file)

In this May 1985 file photo, American artist Andrew Wyeth poses with his wife Betsy at an unknown location in front of his paintings “The Patriot,” left, and “Maga’s Daughter” for which Betsy was the model. Betsy James Wyeth, the widow, business manager and muse of painter Andrew Wyeth, died Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at age 98, according to the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pa., which she helped found. (Associated Press file)

Betsy Wyeth, widow and muse of Andrew Wyeth, dies at 98

CHADDS FORD, Pa. (AP) — Betsy James Wyeth, the widow, business manager and muse of painter Andrew Wyeth, died Tuesday at age 98, according to the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, which she helped found.

She was a guiding force throughout her husband’s career, documenting and promoting his work and the legacy of a family that included book illustrator N.C. Wyeth, her father-in-law, and painter Jamie Wyeth, her son.

After the former’s death, she compiled and edited “The Wyeths: The Letters of N. C. Wyeth, 1901-1945,” a book that led to a reassessment of his career. In 1976 she published the first book on her husband’s work, “Wyeth at Kuerners,” followed by “Christina’s World” in 1982.

Betsy James met Andrew Wyeth in Maine, where their families lived, and married him a year later, in 1940. They divided their time between coastal Maine and the sloping hills of Chadds Ford in southeastern Pennsylvania, the landscapes he captured in his muted, often melancholy paintings. He died in 2009.

Speaking to biographer Richard Meryman in 1966, Andrew Wyeth said his wife “made me see more clearly what I wanted.”

“Betsy galvanized me at the time I needed it,” Wyeth said. “She’s made me into a painter that I would not have been otherwise.”

Early in their marriage, Betsy Wyeth introduced her husband to neighbor Christina Olson, who became the subject of his 1948 series, “Christina’s World.”

In the early 1970s, she helped turn a 19th-century gristmill into the Brandywine River Museum, providing a public home for hundreds of pieces by three generations of the family. The museum plans to honor Betsy Wyeth, when it reopens after the COVID-19-related shutdown, with an exhibit of 18 works her husband made depicting her over the years.

Betsy Wyeth died at home in Chadds Ford after several years of declining health, a family spokesperson told The Philadelphia Inquirer. She is also survived by another son, Nicholas, an art dealer, and a granddaughter.

More in Entertainment

Richard and Mildred Loving, seen here with their children Peggy, Donald and Sidney, are the subjects of "The Loving Story," the documentary streaming free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Monday. photo by Grey Villet



THE LOVING STORY
Photo credit: Grey Villet
The Loving family
‘The Loving Story’ streaming free Monday

Movie available all day on Martin Luther King Day

Peninsula College Dream Week honors King Jr

Peninsula College and the Port Angeles Racial Justice Collective… Continue reading

A construction crew works on the glass face of the new Field Arts & Events Hall on Thursday near the Port Angeles waterfront. The hall is expected to be put on hold when the exterior is complete pending additional fundraising to finish the approximately $50 million project, which will include a 1,000-square-foot art gallery, 500-seat performance hall, 300-seat conference area and a coffee shop. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Glass installed on events hall in Port Angeles

Glass installed on events hall in Port Angeles A construction crew works… Continue reading

Vivian Elvis Hansen, marketing representative for the Peninsula Daily News, center, accepts a check for the Peninsula Home Fund from Jim’s Pharmacy chief financial officer Anna Shields, left, and Jim’s owner, Joe Cammick, on Tuesday in Port Angeles. The Home Fund received $885.65 as the pharmacy’s charity of the month. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Jim’s Pharmacy donates to Home Fund

Jim’s Pharmacy donates to Home Fund Vivian Elvis Hansen, marketing representative for… Continue reading

Peninsula College instructor to offer free improv workshop

A weekly improvisational theater workshop is set to begin tonight, free and… Continue reading

Clallam County public libraries have expanded curbside service hours.
North Olympic Library System to expand curbside service hours

Public libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam… Continue reading

Photos of the first 16 weeks of pandemic lockdown in Port Angeles  will be the topic of a lecture by photographer Amy McIntyre, executive director of the North Olympic History Center. (Amy McIntyre/ North Olympic History Center)
North Olympic History Center to present free lecture series

The North Olympic History Center, formerly the Clallam County… Continue reading

Twenty-two portraits of dogs are part of a display for the Read to Rover program. (Kim Pratt)
Portraits of dogs in Chimacum reading program on display

Artist learned to paint for the project

Haida-Tlingit artist Robert Davidson is the subject of "Haida Modern," the first selection in the year-round PTFF Pics series. Photo by Tina Schliessler
New series to feature film, interviews with directors

New series begins with ‘Haida Modern’

Most Read