Son of the renowned Brandywine illustrator N. C. Wyeth (1882‑1945), Andrew Newell Wyeth was apprenticed to his father at an early age and by twelve had prepared pen‑and‑ink head‑ and tailpieces for his father's essay on the writer and illustrator Howard Pyle (1853‑1911). He then worked in pencil and colored washes, watercolor, and oil before settling on watercolor and egg tempera (he had been introduced to the latter medium by the 1930s by his brother‑in‑law, the artist Peter Hurd [born 1904]). It has been suggested that Wyeth's familiarity with the work of Winslow Homer (1836‑1910) may account for his use of bold, quick strokes to emphasize light and tone, a characteristic that lends a special distinction to his work.
Wyeth's first exhibition was held at the Philadelphia Art Alliance in 1935 and was followed by his first solo show at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City in 1937. One of his most important shows was the traveling exhibition that began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
in Philadelphia in 1966 and continued to the Baltimore Museum of Art
, the Whitney Museum of American Art
in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago
. Wyeth was the first living artist to be given a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York (1976). His work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art
, the Pennsylvania Academy, the Museum of Fine Arts
, Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Delaware Art Museum
in Wilmington. A large collection of Wyeth's work is on permanent display at the Brandywine River Museum
in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The artist lives and works in Chadds Ford, and summers in Cushing, Maine.