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Henriette Wyeth

(1907 - 1997)

The first child of illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Henriette Wyeth is considered one of the great female painters of the 20th century. She did powerful still life paintings and had a distinguished career as a portraitist whose subjects included actress Helen Hays, writer Paul Horgan, and First Lady Pat Nixon.

At age eleven, she began art study with her father although polio crippled her right hand. She learned a technique of holding the brush between her first and second fingers and was an accomplished portraitist even as a teenager.

She grew up in the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania and shocked her family by marrying artist Peter Hurd, also a student of her father's, and moving to southern New Mexico. She loved the landscape and simple architecture and created a rich life for herself and husband in an area that many regarded as totally barren. She continued her painting and the Wyeth-Hurd home became a mecca for many famous people who sat for portraits, played polo, and simply enjoyed the company of their hosts.


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