Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World, 1948

Andrew met Betsy James when she was just 17 years old and he was 22. Betsy took her new boyfriend Andrew out to a neighboring farm where one of the family members, Christina, was paralyzed from the waist down but too proud to use a wheelchair, and so, dragged herself around the farm. Betsy wanted to see Andrew’s shocked reaction to the poor conditions at the farm, but he was too transfixed on Betsy to pay mind to Christina. Years later he painted Christina in the field and the painting has gone on to become an icon of American art.

Betsy was a shrewd director and manager of Andrew’s career and it is because of her that Andrew has achieved such fame. After years of declining health, Betsy recently passed away on April 21, 2020 at the age of 98. Andrew passed in 2009.

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