GREENVILLE, SC.- The Greenville County Museum of Art announced the gift of a major painting by Andrew Wyeth (19172009) from Spartanburg industrialist and international business leader Roger Milliken. The painting, Four Poster, 1946, is an important addition to Greenvilles holdings by the artist, the largest such collection in the Southeast and one that regularly draws visitors to Upstate South Carolina from across the United States.
Andrew Wyeths Four Poster, 1946, is an exceptional large-scale drybrush watercolor that depicts the interior of an old stone house in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, the community where Wyeth was born and lived for ninety-one years. The Marquis de Lafayette was said to have used this Quaker farmhouse as his headquarters in 1777 during the nearby Battle of Brandywine, where he saw his first military action in the American Revolution.
Painted two years before Andrew Wyeths iconic Christinas World, and the year after his father, famed illustrator N.C. Wyeth, died in a tragic accident, Four Poster evokes a palpable sense of loss. It was a pivotal time in the young Wyeths career: the artistic mantle had suddenly been passed to him, and his paintings took on a new gravity as he struggled with his fathers legacy and his own career.
The Milliken gift is the earliest watercolor in the Greenville collection that is achieved in the drybrush technique, which employs a small, thin brush that is dipped into paint and squeezed nearly dry before application. It is a technique that eventually earned Andrew Wyeth a reputation as an every blade of grass realist. The Greenville Collection includes 35 paintings by Andrew Wyeth, most of them watercolors.
Mr. Milliken, 93, is a third-generation textile executive who led Milliken & Company to become one of the largest and most successful textile companies in the world. He assumed the presidency of the company in 1947 and moved its headquarters to Spartanburg in 1954. Milliken became Chairman and CEO in 1983 and continues to serve as the Chairman of the company. He has been a leader in the quality movement and was instrumental in creating an American quality council, Crafted With Pride in the U.S.A. Mr. Milliken has also played a vital role in the political, environmental, and educational achievements of South Carolina.
Mr. Milliken has cited the importance and accessibility of Greenvilles Wyeth collection as key factors in his donation. He acquired Four Poster in 1948 as a Christmas present for his wife Nita, in whose memory the painting is given.
The painting will be on view immediately at the Museum. Gallery talks that feature Four Poster and the entire Wyeth collection will be held on Sundays in June at 2:00 pm, beginning June 7. Related programming includes a talk about Andrew Wyeth by Greenville painter Anthony Conway at 6:30 pm on May 28 and a Curators View gallery talk by Martha R. Severens on Thursday, July 16 at 6:30. The Conway event is part of the continuing Thursday series, Artists Talk.
The Greenville County Museum of Art is located at 420 College Street, on Heritage Green in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. The Museum opens Tuesday through Saturday at 11:00 and Sunday at 1:00 pm. Galleries remain open until 5:00 except on Thursday, when the Museum is open until 8:00 pm.
Admission to the Greenville Museum is always free. For information, call 864-271-7570 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.