Picture Show

An unlikely gallery of N.C. Wyeth's illustrations

Wyeth RoomPhoto: Peter Vanderwarker

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ntire museums are devoted to the artist Newell Convers Wyeth and his famous family, but his hometown has 14 of N.C. Wyeth’s paintings and illustrations hanging in the public library. The father of Andrew Wyeth and grandfather of Jamie Wyeth, N.C. Wyeth was born in Needham on October 22, 1882, and used the town as the backdrop for many of his works and illustrations for Scribner’s magazine and other publishers. On display are his “The Walk in the Snow,” drawn for Robert Louis Stephenson’s David Balfour; “The Chimneys,” which depicts a scene from Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island; and “Charles River Scene.”

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N.C. Wyeth’s famous painting “Christmas Morning” is in the Needham Historical Society Museum at 1147 Central Ave.; it shows his home in Needham and his grandfather, Swiss-American botanist Denys Zirngiebel, who introduced the French carnation and Swiss pansy to America. The museum also has trophies, tickets, and programs from the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day high-school football rivalry, the annual contest between Needham and Wellesley, which began in 1882.

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