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James M. Albright Collection Relating to N. C. Wyeth

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 25 January 2008

Biographical History

Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945), better known as N. C. Wyeth, was an American artist and illustrator. Born in Needham, Massachusetts, he attended Mechanics Arts School, the Massachusetts Normal Arts School, the Eric Pape School of Art, and Howard Pyle's School of Art in Wilmington, Delaware. During his studies he worked with Pyle himself, as well as with artists George L. Noyes and Charles W. Reed.

Wyeth's first commission as an illustrator was the February 21, 1903 cover of The Saturday Evening Post, for which he drew a bucking bronco, but others were quick to follow, and Wyeth shortly became recognized as one of the foremost American illustrators of his day. Over his career he illustrated editions of classic American children's books (Treasure Island, Kidnaped, Robin Hood, Last of the Mohicans), and his work frequently appeared in prominent periodicals including Century, Harper's Monthly, Ladies' Home Journal, McClure's, Outing, and Scribner's. Other work included advertisements, posters, calendars, murals, and many other formats.

Wyeth was a member of the National Academy, the Society of Illustrators, the Philadelphia Water Color Club, the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Chester County Art Association, and the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts. In June 1945 he received an honorary master of arts degree from Bowdoin College. His work is held by museums across the country; in particular, the Brandywine River Museum in Wyeth's home town of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania has a large collection of his work, as does Maine's Portland Museum of Art in Portland and Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

Several of N.C. Wyeth's children and grandchildren became artists as well. N.C.'s son Andrew and Andrew's son James "Jamie" Browning Wyeth, both noted painters in their own right, are represented in the collection as well.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The majority of the James Albright Collection Relating to N. C. Wyeth consists of examples of Wyeth's artwork as it appears on a wide range of printed material and objects. The collection contains clippings, correspondence, donor documentation, exhibit and gallery material, printed material, and objects.

Clippings consists of magazine and newspaper articles about N. C. Wyeth and other members of the Wyeth family, and their life and work. These range from brief mentions in local newspapers to feature pieces from Architectural Digest and other national publications. Included here is the obituary of Wyeth's son Nathaniel, inventor of the plastic soda bottle.

Correspondence contains a few pieces of correspondence between James Albright, the donor of the collection, and various owners or holders of Wyeth art.

Exhibits and galleries consists largely of material relating to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, both of which have for many years been closely involved with the Wyeth legacy. This material includes not only brochures and other items directly related to exhibits of Wyeth's work, but also museum publicity, membership and donor material featuring Wyeth's artwork. Also included are more than twenty years of the Brandywine's newsletter, Catalyst.

Printed material is the largest section of the collection, comprising a wide range of printed items featuring Wyeth art. Address books, advertisements, book illustrations, periodicals, calendars, notecards, posters, and miscellaneous other types of printed matter are all represented, including a World War I Red Cross poster illustrated by Wyeth. Several of these items are quite large. There are also a few books about Wyeth and his work.

In Objects the researcher will find an equally wide range of artifacts bearing artwork by Wyeth. These include jigsaw puzzles, DVD packages, plates, commemorative medals, bookmarks, mugs, paperweights, stamps and a Coca-Cola advertising tray. Where possible, the title of the artwork used is provided.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into clippings, correspondence, donor documentation, exhibit and gallery material, printed material, and objects. Clippings are arranged chronologically. Material in the other series is in alphabetical order by type or title, except for objects, which are in no particular order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

James Albright also donated hundreds of books illustrated by Wyeth. These have been transferred to Rare Books for separate cataloging. A complete listing of these books may be found by searching for "Gift of James Albright" in the Classic Catalog.

Subject Headings


Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009.
Wyeth, Ann C. (Ann Caroline), d. 1914.
Wyeth, Jamie, 1946-
Wyeth, N. C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945.

Corporate Bodies

Brandywine River Museum.
Syracuse China Company.

Associated Titles

Brandywine catalyst.


Illustrators -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Address books.
Auction catalogs.
Calendars (documents)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Cup plates.
Dinner plates.
Greeting cards.
Jigsaw puzzles.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

James Albright Collection Relating to N. C. Wyeth,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of James M. Albright, 2010.

Table of Contents



Donor documentation

Exhibits and galleries

Printed material