Saturday in the Museum with Peter

Image: Peter Hurd, Brinton’s Mill (1928)

We have been focusing on harvest season for the last few weeks in our Saturday art posts about food and where it comes from. For today’s post we go another step in the process, to a painting of an old mill.

The mill in this case was converted into a home for Andrew Wyeth, who would paint it himself many times, including this piece in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The museum notes:

“Andrew Wyeth and his wife bought an old gristmill on the Brandywine River in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, and moved into the granary in 1961. The artist erased signs of modern life in this painting, however, to suggest the three centuries of sometimes dark and violent history that he imagined within these buildings.”

As much as a spooky history seems appropriate for Halloween weekend, this more colorful rendition was done by a different artist. The Brandywine River Museum tells the backstory:

“A native of New Mexico, Hurd attended the United Stated Military Academy at West Point but left after two years to pursue his interest in painting. He studied at Haverford College and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. From 1924 to 1929, he studied illustration with N.C. Wyeth. Although he worked in oils under Wyeth, he began to work with tempera, a medium which he later introduced to both N.C. and Andrew Wyeth. Hurd lived for a time in Chadds Ford after marrying Henriette Wyeth, but the two moved to New Mexico in the 1930s.”

Hurd would give the painting as a gift to Andrew and Betsy Wyeth, the eventual owners. “This version of Brinton’s Mill is a wide view of the landscape, showing the beauty of Chadds Ford greenery and the river. The mill seems to be of less importance compared to the overall landscape, which is dominated by dramatic clouds and the skeletal forms of ancient trees leaning toward the river.”

Apparently even the more colorful version has some spooky elements.


We hope Halloween is not so spooky – unless it is in a playful way – for you. If you don’t already, please consider giving us a follow to stay up to date on our art postings and dining recommendations for Washington, D.C. We are on FB, Insta, and Twitter.  Click on the icons at the top or bottom of this page to stay up to date.