Victoria Wyeth to Speak
At Brandywine Baptist Church
Launches 325th Anniversary Celebration
Victoria Wyeth, granddaughter of iconic American artist Andrew Wyeth, will speak at Brandywine Baptist Church in Chadds Ford on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m.
She will be giving an oral history of her family’s arrival and their life in Chadds Ford. One topic will be on a beautiful oil painting that has hung in the church sanctuary for more than 50 years – “In Naaman’s House,” painted by Victoria Wyeth’s great- grandfather, famed illustrator N.C. Wyeth.
The painting was presented to the church in 1964 by N.C. Wyeth’s widow, the late Carolyn Bockius Wyeth, who told the pastor at the time that she “felt that presentation of the painting to the only church in Chadds Ford ‘was what N.C. Wyeth would have wanted.’”
Pastor Marcos O. Almonte will follow Victoria Wyeth with an explanation of the Biblical story behind the painting. Choir Director Rodney Arment will lead the congregation in favorite sacred hymns.
The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Victoria Wyeth’s speech is the first of several special events celebrating the 325th Anniversary of Brandywine Baptist Church, the oldest continuing Baptist Church west of Philadelphia. The church traces its origins to a group that met in the home of Thomas Powell in Upper Providence, near Media, for the first time on Oct. 12, 1692. The church was formally organized as Brandywine Baptist Church in 1715. Members met at a log meeting house, located on the present site of today’s stone church.
Victoria Browning Wyeth is an accomplished lecturer and gifted photographer. Her photographic work is currently on display at the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, S.C., in “Victoria Wyeth: My Andy.” She earned a Masters of Arts degree in psychology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and formerly worked as a psychologist for the Norristown State Psychiatric Hospital. She has conducted many gallery talks at the Brandywine River Museum as well as earlier this year co-curated the show, “Andrew Wyeth at 100: A Family Remembrance” at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
N.C. Wyeth was born on Oct. 22, 1882 in Needham, Massachusetts. He came to Wilmington, Del., in 1902 to join the Howard Pyle School of Art. He married Carolyn Brenneman Bockius in 1906 and they moved to Chadds Ford in 1908. Wyeth already was painting illustrations for national magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post when in 1911 he painted what would be the first of many commissions for Charles Scribner’s Sons publishing house, for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” His series “Children of the Bible,” which included “In Naaman’s House,” was printed from January to December 1929 in Good Housekeeping Magazine.
He and Carolyn raised five children in Chadds Ford, including Nathaniel, Henriette, Carolyn, Ann and Andrew. He died at a railroad crossing on Ring Road in Chadds Ford in 1945, when an oncoming train hit his car.