"Andrew Wyeth was born in Chadds Ford, PA in 1917, the fifth child of artist NC Wyeth and his wife, Carolyn Bockius. One of the most notable American illustrators of his generation, NC produced some 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books, including such classics as Treasure Island, Kidnapped and The Boy’s King Arthur.
In the summer of 1948 Andrew Wyeth began a painting of a severely crippled woman, Christina Olson, painfully pulling herself up a seemingly endless sloping hillside with her arms. For months Wyeth worked on nothing but the grass; then, much more quickly, delineated the buildings at the top of the hill. Finally, he came to the figure itself. Her body is turned away from us, so that we get to know her simply through the twist of her torso, the clench of her right fist, the tension of her right arm and the slight disarray of her thick, dark hair. Against the subdued tone of the brown grass, the pink of her dress feels almost explosive. Wyeth recalls that, after sketching the figure, “I put this pink tone on her shoulder—and it almost blew me across the room.”Finishing the painting brought a sense of fatigue and let-down. When he was done, Wyeth hung it over the sofa in his living room. Visitors hardly glanced at it. In October, when he shipped the painting to a New York City gallery, he told his wife, Betsy, “This picture is a complete flat tire.”
He couldn’t have been more wrong. Within a few days, whispers about a remarkable painting were circulating in Manhattan. Powerful figures of finance and the art world quietly dropped by the gallery, and within weeks the painting had been purchased by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). When it was hung there in December 1948, thousands of visitors related to it in a personal way, and perhaps somewhat to the embarrassment of the curators, who tended to favor European modern art, it became one of the most popular works in the museum. Thomas Hoving, who would later become director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, recalls that as a college student he would sometimes visit the MoMA for the sole purpose of studying this single painting. Within a decade or so the museum had banked reproduction fees amounting to hundreds of times the sum—$1,800—they had paid to acquire the picture. Today the painting’s value is measured in the millions. At age 31, Wyeth had accomplished something that eludes most painters, even some of the best, in an entire lifetime. He had created an icon—a work that registers as an emotional and cultural reference point in the minds of millions. Today Christina’s World is one of the two or three most familiar American paintings of the 20th century. Only Grant Wood, in American Gothic, and Edward Hopper, in one or two canvases such as House by the Railroad or Nighthawks, have created works of comparable stature. In 1956, Andrew chose his 10 favorite paintings and had them reproduced as collotypes by in an edition of 250 sets . Authentic color collotype of Blue Dump by Andrew Newell Wyeth from a limited edition of 250 sets of ten images by Triton Press. Knoedler Gallery in Manhattan, New York exhibited Wyeth's work in 1956 including this print to promote the Triton Press portfolio. The images were all signed in the plate."