STUNNING MASTERWORKS BY ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ILLUSTRATORS OF ALL TIME
As an artist working in the golden age of illustration, few painters have had more influence on American culture than Newell Convers Wyeth.
“His name summons up our earliest images of the beloved books we read as children,” notes N.C. Wyeth: A Biography by David Michaelis. “His illustrations for Scribner’s Illustrated Classics [including Treasure Island, The Last of the Mohicans and The Yearling] are etched into the collective memory of generations of readers.”
In addition to work for publishers and periodicals such as Harper’s Monthly, Ladies’ Home Journal, McClure’s, The Outing Magazine and The Popular Magazine, Wyeth created posters, calendars and advertisements for clients like Lucky Strike, Cream of Wheat and Coca-Cola.
Wyeth “certainly ranks among America’s greatest illustrators,” says Aviva Lehmann, vice president and director of American Art at Heritage Auctions. “In fact, Wyeth is among the few artists whose work exemplifies the intersection of illustration and fine art.”
Two masterworks from early in Wyeth’s career are being offered at Heritage’s American Art auction scheduled for May 3, 2019. Mr. Cassidy, an illustration published by The Outing Magazine in 1906, and the 1917 illustration I am Sir Launcelot du Lake, are each expected to flirt with a million-dollar hammer price. The Sir Launcelot art is featured on the cover of Visions of Adventure: N.C. Wyeth and the Brandywine Artists.
“There’s a reason N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations are found in homes, libraries and classrooms across America,” Lehmann says. “He simply is one of the foremost American artists of the first half of the 20th century.”
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2019 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.