Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blueberries for Hyde

Study of a pail of blueberries by Andrew WyethIt is blueberry season here in the Upper Valley. You can walk up to a bush and fill a bucket before you realize you have even gotten started picking. There is nothing like a bunch of blueberries to make you want to celebrate summer and pull out the maple syrup from last spring.

For some, the inspiration goes beyond pies and pancakes. In this early August letter from 1969 to Hyde Cox, the artist Andrew Wyeth included a watercolor study as a token of thanks:
Betsy just came in with this rusty pail full of blue berries--these she picked in the fields of Broad Cove Farm--I had to make this study for you.  All of this is done to try and tell you in my own language of how deeply I feel about your gift of the Selected Letters of Robert Frost.
Hyde Cox was a friend of Robert Frost's and a friend and patron of Wyeth. His papers contain a folder of Wyeth's sketches and several folders of their correspondence. A few other letters contain sketches, but none quite so spectacular as the pail of blueberries.

Sketch of crow by Andrew Wyethsketch of Andrew Wyeth passed out with liquor bottles
Thank goodness e-mail wasn't around in 1969. A blueberry emoji just wouldn't be the same...

To see the collection, ask for MS-1168. The blueberry study is in box 1, folder 39.

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