Highlights from the History of Needham in 100 objects
Christmas Morning
Artist - Creator:
N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)
Oil on canvas
The artist N. C. Wyeth was born and raised in Needham, and "Christmas Morning" shows a family scene - Wyeth's youngest brother, Stimson, and their grandfather, Jean Denys Zirngiebel, shoveling the deep snow in front of Zirngiebel's home. The scene is a nostalgic memory of past snowy winters - by 1913, Zirngiebel had been dead for eight years, and Stimson was an adult.

Wyeth lived in Needham until he was 20, attending the old Harris School, and then the Boston Normal Arts School, now the Mass. College of Art and Design. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1902 to study with the great illustrator Howard Pyle, and remained there for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, Wyeth continued to use Needham scenes and people in his work.

Wyeth is not only famous for his own work - including classics of American illustration such as Treasure Island, The Deerslayer, and The Boy's King Arthur - but also for raising a dynasty of important artists. His son Andrew, his daughters Carolyn and Henriette, and his grandson Jamie all became renowned painters.

Plaque on frame: "Given to the Needham Historical Society by Stimson Wyeth"
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