29 September 2012

Christina's World

Christina’s World has become one of the most well known examples of modern American painting. For years, on every visit to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, I do not leave before I visit the painting one more time. For an equally long time I have dreamed of visiting the place which the painting depicts.

Christina Olson lived with her brother Alvaro on the family farm in Cushing, Maine her entire life. Apparently having contracted polio as a child, Christina spent her adult life unable to stand or walk. Andrew Wyeth was, in 1948, a neighbor and friend of the Olsons and found in Christina spirit and determination that moved him profoundly.

Wyeth died at the age of 91 at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania in 2009. He was buried, as he wished, in the Olson burying ground at the foot the field in which he painted Christina 61 years before.

Olson House as it appears today

Olson House as it appeared to Wyeth