Thursday, October 22, 2009


If you happen to visit Maine and are a fan of the late American realistic painter Andrew Wyeth, you must make a visit to the Olson House. It was a beautiful summer day when my husband and I returned for a visit. This is the home of Christiana and Alvaro Olson and the location where Andrew Wyeth painted the famous "Christiana's World". The old 1700 weather beaten farm house is located in Cushing, Maine by the Georges River and the ocean.Wyeth painted in almost every room in this house. Simple images of the paintings are framed in each of the rooms to give the visitor an idea of what Wyeth saw.

At the top of the stairs on the second floor is the room where in the summer of 1948 Wyeth painted "Christiana's World". Christiana had an undiagnosed muscular deterioration that paralyzed her body. She often dragged her body across the ground to pick vegetables and flowers from her garden.
This is the room where the painting took life. Wyeth took artistic license by separating the barn from the house and omitted a stand of trees. Wyeth also used his thirty year old wife Betsy as his model. In the painting Christiana is in a position that does not correspond to the precise lay of the land.This is the view that Wyeth saw.
Wyeth painted three hundred paintings in this home and had a studio set up on the second floor. The blue door into the kitchen from the ell which connects the barn.
Alvaro's favorite spot in the kitchen with Christiana's geraniums decorating the windowsill.

Alvaro's cap still hangs on the chair.
The original cook stoveand hand water pump.
This easel belonging to Mr. Wyeth was used over a thirty year period in this home.

Looking out this window-down the bottom of the hill on the ocean's edge- is where Mr. Wyeth is laid to rest. His grave is marked with a simple granite grave stone.

When touring the Olson house and realize one can stand in the exact spot where Mr. Wyeth gave us (in my opinion) some of the most stark and wonderful watercolor paintings, It feels surreal to say the least.
There is so much more to the Olson house and grounds than I can show you, come to Maine and experience it for yourself. Who knows you just might see me there.