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Welcome to Christina's World
The Olson House
September 20, 2004
About the Olson House ~ Opens Museum Link in New Window
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Visit outside the kitchen Visit the third floor


Brenda at Christina's World


Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth, 1948, Tempera, 32 1/4" x 47 3/4"
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Wyeth's 87-year-old brother-in-law, Dudley Rockwell, lives nearby and visits the Olson House daily to deliver a twenty-minute talk that weaves in the history of the house and the artist's enduring friendship with Christina and Alvaro, sister and brother, who died a month apart in the winter of 1967-68.

Rockwell usually begins the presentation by displaying a print of "Christina's World" and telling his small audience, "If you don't recognize this painting, then you probably shouldn't be here."

A
ndrew Wyeth spent the summer of 1948 on Christina's World. While looking out of a window in the Olson house in May, he saw Christina dragging herself across the grass. She usually dragged herself to pick flowers from her garden to put in the house. Christina had a never-diagnosed muscular deterioration. It left her lower body paralyzed.

A
ccording to Dudley, Wyeth took "artistic license" by separating the barn from the house, omitting a stand of pine trees and setting Christina in a position that doesn't correspond to the precise lay of the land. Also Wyeth used his wife as a model. As a result, the skeletal arms of the fifty-five year-old Christina Olson are attached to the body of the thirty year-old Betsy Wyeth.

He notes that those people seeking a reality that duplicates the image may be disappointed.

The 1770's Olson House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.


Wyeth's original sketch



Brenda in Andrew's "studio" for Christina's World
This is the room at the top of the stairs on the second floor in the Olson House where Wyeth painted Christina's World. Andrew painted over three hundred paintings in the solitude of the Olson House.


Christina's Teapot
1968, Watercolor
22
3/4" x 28 3/4"



Wind from the Sea, 1948, Tempera, 19" x 28"



Light from the Sea

This is the window in the room where Wyeth painted Wind from the Sea, one of Brenda's favorite Wyeth paintings. How nice to be able to sit here on a brilliant end-of-summer day and ponder the artist, his subjects, and his work.




photos by Bruce McMillan


photo from End of Olsons room

More about
End of the Olsons



Of the more than three hundred paintings that Andrew painted at the Olson house, End of Olsons was the last painting he painted there.

Visit that room


photo of the kitchen window

More about this view.

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