Wyeth family visits Brandywine River Museum

Inquirer staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea reports from Chadds Ford:

Andrew Wyeth’s son and granddaughter visited the Brandywine River Museum this morning.

“He died at home very peacefully,” Nicholas Wyeth said. “He was a very happy man.”

Nicholas’s daughter, Victoria Wyeth, said one of the last things the family talked about was “Snow Hill,” a 1989 painting that is “his death scene.”

The work shows all of Wyeth’s models jubilantly dancing, having been freed from the constraints of holding poses for hours at a time. Many of his models have died.

“That’s who he’s with now,” said Victoria Wyeth.

A newly installed sign at the museum this morning gave the dates of Andrew Wyeth’s life: 1917 to 2009. Beneath the sign a journal lay open for visitors to add their comments.

The first entry was Victoria Wyeth’s. It said: “I love you so much Andy. You have been the greatest inspiration to me as a person and as my grandpa. I’ll miss you with all my heart. XX Vic.”

Writer and illustrator Gene Barretta, 48, of Wynnewood, got a phone call from his wife informing him that Andrew Wyeth had died. A frequent visitor to the museum, Barretta immediately decided to pay tribute to Wyeth there this morning.

“You are not gone for me,” Barretta wrote in the journal. “You are in every blade of grass here in Chadds Ford. I’ll take a walk with you whenever I need a dose of inspiration.”

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