As I mentioned in my last post, Charley and I spend time on Cape Cod with our friends, Jack and Jean. We’ve discovered a favorite place to visit in Sandwich called the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Every year, throughout the extensive botanical gardens, artist’s works are featured, interspersed among the many trees, flowering bushes, and plants. Walking along the paths is pure joy for a master gardener like me.
We spent an enchanting afternoon last summer experiencing an exhibit entitled “Big Bugs”. Gigantic wood sculptures by David Rogers were mixed in among gardens filled with Wicked Killer Plants.
Taking silly photos in apparent peril amidst the natural beauty gave our imaginations a real work-out and I have to say, when we returned last week, I missed those big bugs.
This year’s exhibits proved to be a bit more sedate. Victoria Browning Wyeth, great-granddaughter of N.C Wyeth, granddaughter of Andrew Wyeth and niece of Jamie Wyeth was scheduled to give a talk on their art at the Special Exhibitions Gallery. The Wyeth family is filled with prominent artists following in the footsteps of the patriarch Newell Convers Wyeth. In his lifetime he created over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books including the famous Scribner Classics for which he is best known. His son, Andrew Wyeth, a realist painter is one of the best known U.S. artists of the mid-20th century. His most famous works are the Helga Series of 240 paintings and the iconic Christina’s World which is on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Andrew’s son, Jamie Wyeth, is a contemporary realist painter whose portraitures are reknown throughout the world. It was through the eye’s of Andrew Wyeth’s granddaughter, Victoria, that we were given a personal glimpse into that famous family and their amazing contributions to the world of art.
When she was fourteen years old, Victoria began interviewing her grandfather, Andy, until his death in 2009. For over twenty years, she has been sharing these reflections and her own personal experiences living with this famous American family. I’ve included a video of a discussion she had with Patty Satalia which incorporates some of the information we learned during her talk. She is a charming, personable young woman and the hour we spent with her was enlightening and entertaining.
From there we went on to the automobile gallery exhibit of J.K Lilly III “Driven To Collect”. This is housed in a replica of the round barns made famous by the Shakers. You can learn more about the Shakers in my book, A Berkshire Tale. My favorite vehicle this year was a red fire engine.
The Heritage Museums & Gardens are open from mid-April to mid-October every year. It is a wonderful place to bring children, as they have a magnificent Tree House area, a lovely Carousel and an Adventure Park where you can fly through the trees. From November 27 – December 27 (Friday – Sunday) from 4:30 – 8:30 “Gardens Aglow ” will be opened to the public.
Heritage Museum & Gardens, 67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA 02563 (508-888-3300)