Famed Portrait Artist
Born in 1907, the late Henriette Wyeth was the first of five children of the painter Newell Convers Wyeth and his wife, Carolyn. The family was a wellspring of talent. Three of the children became painters-Henriette, Carolyn and Andrew. Ann, a composer, later turned to painting and Nathaniel, matured as an innovative technological engineer. As all five grew into independence they married painters or writers, and many of their children in turn are artists. For all her life, Henriette Wyeth had been surrounded by artistry, intelligence, beauty, initiative and imagination.
Her love for the symphony, opera, and theatre, as well as all forms of intellectual growth sustain Henriette Wyeth's life, encouraging her capacity to draw, sketch, paint and expand her joy of life and living.
Henriette Wyeth married the famous artist, Peter Hurd. She lived in New Mexico with her husband and children at the world famous Sentinel Ranch in San Patricio, and continued to paint.
Globally renowned as a portrait painter, many of her works are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery and other prestigious collections throughout the world. Her still life paintings are acknowledged as exquisite and touching. She had painted "fantasies" which deal with the beauty and tragedies of life and also shown the raw beauty of the people and land of the southwest. Her art brings joy and spirit to thousands in every corner of the world.
Her philosophy of life speaks of universality... "I don't know what is important and what is unimportant, so I call it all immensely important." She is sustained by an ever-present feeling- "A kind of tribute to my delight in life, in all kinds of important aspects of my life, and also the very superficial, the delightful, the charming, the nonessential, except that I never know what is nonessential. Nothing is unimportant... It is all paintable It's all part of an artist's life"..."I love obvious things... I sing the praises of the obvious". Her imperative was to contain and keep the truth, and do it honor.
She died April 3, 1997.
Women's International Center was privileged to present a Living Legacy Award to a woman whose living legacies beautifully and tenderly touch the lives of people everywhere.