February 25 - May 14, 2017
Press Preview: Thursday, February 23, 10am -12pm with photographer Joséphine Douet
FEBRUARY 2017 -- In the countryside of Pennsylvania, French photographer Joséphine Douet followed the path first set by Andrew Wyeth — an elegant, spare, and honest view of the landscape and the people of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, the iconic American painter’s home.
Wyeth Wonderland: Joséphine Douet Envisions Andrew Wyeth’s World is an exhibition of 27 photographs Douet took in this rural region made famous by Wyeth together with a selection of Wyeth watercolors. Joséphine Douet’s photographs are being shown for the first time in the United States at the Hudson River Museum, and, also for the first time, the Museum explores Andrew Wyeth’s watercolors. Among them are scenes of farms set in low hills, the faces of working men and profiles of young women, the architecture of roofs, doorways and windows, and the animals who inhabit the landscape. Douet said, “My decision to follow in Wyeth’s footsteps and to photograph what he painted and his relationship with his home arose from a combination of my admiration for him and my love for artistic challenge.”
Seeking insight into Wyeth’s art, Douet visited Kuerner Farm, which appears often in Wyeth’s paintings, calling it, “a land of never ending poetry . . . every tube, tire, bucket, and hose has an organic structure that just fits to the place.” Her photograph Rubber Ivy (2015) is one of several of the Kuerner Farm.
Foremost in the exhibition Helga, Wyeth’s model and muse and neighbor who posed for him for 15 years, appears in Douet’s photograph Helga (2015), and in six Wyeth watercolors, which show a younger Helga, among them Study for On her Knees, In the Orchard, and In the Doorway. In 1986, news of a cache of Wyeth’s paintings and drawings of Helga was published and caused a sensation in the art world.
Douet undertook her five-week photography project in Chadds Ford as a commission from the
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, in Madrid, Spain which, in 2016, organized a retrospective of the work of
Andrew Wyeth and his son, Jamie. With an interest in Wyeth that dates from her childhood, she was eager to travel across the Atlantic and immerse herself in the environment Wyeth painted. She wanted to find what the camera could reveal about both Wyeth and the world to which he devoted his art. What she got was insight into Wyeth’s sense of light and space, and the recognition of his tribute to the timelessness embodied in our awareness of the places and objects that surround us. Douet said, “What makes a hill or a rock a special spot? Memories. And memories are born from building and intimacy, day after day.” Then, too, as Douet’s project progressed, she saw that her own photographs developed a new delicacy of touch.
Andrew Wyeth was born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania in 1917, the place where he lived his life of 91 years. He learned, there, the techniques of painting from his illustrator father and teacher, N.C. Wyeth. Andrew Wyeth said, “Art to me is seeing. I think you have got to use your eyes, as well as your emotion, and one without the other just doesn't work. That's my art.”
“It is with great pride that the Museum has the opportunity to share this creative exploration by a contemporary international photographer on the intimate world and subjects of American realist Andrew Wyeth. Douet captures the mystery and essence of Wyeth’s work, while creating her own nuanced understanding of the landscape and inhabitants,” states Masha Turchinsky, Director of the Hudson River Museum.
Laura Vookles, Chair of the Museum’s Curatorial department, said, “Douet’s co-existence with Wyeth at Chadds Ford brings new perspectives on an artist long beloved by the American public and, in the past several years, a subject of renewed study and appreciation by curators. Andrew Wyeth has fascinated me since my earliest days in museums, and Wyeth Wonderland touches upon that sense
of place and love of landscape, which the Hudson River Museum makes a primary focus of its painting and photography exhibitions.”
Joséphine Douet’s pictures range from documentaries to conceptual photography. Based in France and Spain, she photographed Parisian fashion for the series Coutures and Spanish bullfighting for her trilogy Peajes, Alma Herida, and Silencios. Her photographs have been published in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Elle, Esquire, GQ, Liberation, El Pais, Paris Match, Harper’s Bazaar, and have been shown in the AIPAD photography show, PhotoEspaña, and Spanish and French galleries.She turned, though, from hard driving sport and fashion to a more peaceful and contemplative canvas, an immersion into Wyeth’s world that she perfectly realizes in her photograph Young Calf (2015). “I was there in mud up to my knees. I had to find a perfect calf. And it’s such a perfect calf. It’s really just newborn. And I loved the colors, the windows, which are so Wyeth-ish. There were more calves, but I really had to find the one that would have a sense of fragility and a lot of determination in the look.”
Andrew Wyeth watercolors are on loan from Adelson Galleries and Frank E. Fowler. Joséphine Douet images are courtesy of the artist.
The exhibition, Wyeth Wonderland: Joséphine Douet Envisions Andrew Wyeth’s World, is organized by the Hudson River Museum, which has published a catalog of the exhibition with the same name.
Exhibition-Related Programs @ HRM
March – May 2017
All programs FREE with Museum admission. Complete information: hrm.org
Talk and Tour: A Professional’s Perspective
Explore Wyeth Wonderland from the perspectives of artists and museum professionals.
The Artist’s Eye with Joséphine Douet
Saturday, February 25, 2-3pm (in English); 3 -4pm (in French)
Saturday, March 25, 2pm - The Curator’s Eye with Laura Vookles, Chair, Curatorial Department
Saturday, April 29, 2pm - The Photographer’s Eye with Photographer Richard Halevy
A Lens on Photography Series with Hastings-on-Hudson Photographer John Maggiotto
Lectures/demonstrations, discussions and workshops
Sunday, March 12, 1:30pm - A Sense of Place: Joséphine Douet’s Working Techniques
Sunday, March 26, 1:30pm – America’s First Photographers: How They Took Pictures &
How We Take Them Today
Sunday, Apr 9, 1:30pm - It’s All About Light: Exploring Composition and Direct Illumination
Sunday, May 14, 1:30pm - Camera Obscura: Exploring this Historic Technique
Arts in the Afternoon, Lifelong Learning for Adults
Wednesday, March 8, 1:30pm - Urban Landscape as Studiowith photographer Sally Apfelbaum
Wednesday, May 10, 1:30pm - Yonkers and Glenview Landscapes and People of the Gilded Age with Curator Laura Vookles
Watercolor Workshops - A Sense of Place
Sunday, April 2, 2pm - Andrew Wyeth’s work conveys his love of place. In this workshop, paint from photographs that show your own sense of place.
Sunday, April 30, 2pm - En plein air painting of the Museum’s surroundings.
Saturday Stories—Junior Docents Read Stories About Notable Photographers
February 25, 1 & 3pm - Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford
March 25, 1 & 3pm - Dorothea’s Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth by Barb Rosenstock
April 22, 1 & 3pm Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Sunday, March 12, 12 – 5 pm
Tour Wyeth Wonderland with Museum Director Masha Turchinsky - 1pm (in English), 3pm (in Spanish)
Family Guide Tour of Wyeth Wonderland, 1 - 4 pm
Silhouette Mementos with artist Antony Zito, 1-4pm
Family Studio Science Workshops
Saturdays, February and March, 1 - 4 pm
Photography Before Pixels, a Workshop
Using a classic camera designed for 4x5 sheet film, take a long-exposure photo and watch it appear before your eyes in our darkroom! Civil War-era technology and modern chemistry combine to create an experience like that of the first commercial photographers.
Family Studio Weekend Programs are sponsored, in part, by American Sugar.
Hudson River Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday, 12 - 5 pm; Admission: Adults $6; Youth 3 – 18 $3; Seniors 62+/Students with ID $4. Planetarium Admission: Adults $4; Youth 3 – 18 $ 2; Seniors 62+
Students with ID $3. The Hudson River Museum is accessible by Metro North, Yonkers or Glenview Stations, by Beeline Bus Route 1 (Warburton Avenue at Shonnard Terrace), by car, via the Saw Mill River Parkway. Make your visit a one-day Getaway, and get a combined rail and admission discount ticket. Click here for Metro-North Deals & Getaways information.
More information about this exhibition can be found on hrm.org as well as Facebook, Instagram, and
Twitter using the hashtags #WyethWonderland #JosephineDouet and #AndrewWyeth
THE HUDSON RIVER MUSEUM is the largest cultural institution in Westchester County and a multidisciplinary complex that draws its identity from its site on the banks of the Hudson River, seeking to broaden the cultural horizons of all its visitors. The Museum collections focus on
19th-century through contemporary American Art; Glenview, an 1876 house on the National Register of Historic Places; Hudson Riverama, an environmental teaching gallery; a state-of-the-art, 120-seat planetarium, and a 400-seat outdoor amphitheater. It presents exhibitions, programs, teaching initiatives, research, collection, preservation, and conservation – a wide range of activities that interpret its collections, interests and communities.