This online lesson was created in conjunction with the Jamie Wyeth exhibition at the MFA. It will showcase 100 paintings and works on paper that will explore six decades of the artist's career.
Abstract: American artist Jamie Wyeth is a realist painter known most famously for his portraits. He comes from a family of artists who inspired his creativity and artistic growth, studying closely with his aunt Carolyn Wyeth. In the 1970s, Wyeth worked with artist Andy Warhol in New York City, moving on to paint portraits inspired by artists such as Warhol, Hopper, Copley, and Homer.
Description: On display in the Jamie Wyeth exhibition will be about 100 paintings and works on paper, exploring six decades of the artist's career. The exhibit will include pieces from Wyeth's early childhood, as well as recurring themes, subjects, and places that the artist holds dear. Jamie Wyeth will run from July 16 through December 28, 2014 in the Lois and Michael Torf Gallery.
This gallery looks closely at some of Wyeth's most popular works, focusing specifically on portraits.
In exploring this lesson, students will:
- Explore the evolution of portraiture through Wyeth's works
- Learn about Wyeth's life and passions through his work with portraits
- Reflect on what defines a "portrait" in art
- Learn of the powerful relationship between image and description through both the paintings on the slides and the related classroom activities
This discovery will require students to:
- Examine Wyeth's portraits to theorize what made his works so distinct
- Think critically about artworks presented in this lesson as they develop an understanding of what "portrait" means
- Look closely at the paintings to help them understand why Wyeth's portraits are well-known
Using this Resource: This lesson is recommended for students looking closely at portraiture and realism.
The objects in this lesson are just a beginning. For sample related classroom activities, download the PDFs available under Related Resources. We encourage you to explore the Museum's online collection through this web resource—or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries—to look for other objects that will provide further insights into the relationship between words and images.