N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)I said good-bye to Mother and the cove1911Oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 36 1/8 in. (120 x 91.7 cm)Brandywine River MuseumAcquisition made possible through the generosity of Patricia Wiman Hewitt, 1994
I said good-bye to Mother and the cove
Hawkins Leaves Home; Jim Hawkins Leaves Home; Jim Hawkins Leaves Town
Oil on canvas
Lower left: N. C. WYETH (underlined); Adhered to canvas on reverse, Scribner's label: (in ink) WYETH, N.C. B1989 / Jim Hawkins Leaves Home. / I said good-bye to mother- / Treasure Island-p. 58 / (printed) THIS COPYRIGHTED PICTURE IS THE / PROPERTY OF CHARLES SCRIBNER'S / SONS AND IS TO BE RETURNED TO THEM / IN GOOD CONDITION / FROM / SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE / 153-157 Fifth Ave., New York; attached to stretcher, partial exhibition label: 19. JIM HAWK (torn) / Loaned by (torn); written on backing paper adhered to stretcher: APRIL-26-1919 / MAR.-21-1966
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, NY; sold through N. C. Wyeth to Colonel George A. Elliott, and presented to the YMCA of Delaware, Central Branch, Wilmington, DE, by 1920 to Jan. 1994
Boston, MA, 1912, no. 4 as "Hawkins Leaves Home"; Wilmington, DE, 1912, no. 42, as "Jim Hawkins leaves Home"; Harrisburg, PA, 1965, no. 74; Rockland, ME, 1966, no. 19; Wilmington, DE, 1966, no. 47; Chadds Ford, PA, 1971, no. 64; Chadds Ford, PA, 1972, no. 56; Chadds Ford, PA, 1976(1); Chadds Ford, PA, 1985; Chadds Ford, PA, 1990(1); Chadds Ford, PA, Brandywine River Museum, "N. C. Wyeth and His Grandson: A Legacy," Jan. 24 - March 29, 1998 (Chadds Ford venue only of Chicago, IL, 1997 and not included in checklist); Chadds Ford, PA, Brandywine River Museum, "N. C. Wyeth's Treasure Island: Classic Illustrations for a Classic Tale," Sept. 10- Nov. 20, 2011
Color illustration f. p. 58, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911)
"Exhibition of Pictures Proves Splendid Success," (Wilmington, DE) Morning News, Nov. 3, 1912, p. 13, as "Jim Hawkins Leaves Town"; "To-day is Final One of Annual Art Exhibition," (Wilmington, DE) Morning News, Nov. 16, 1912, p. 15; Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N. C. Wyeth, The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals (New York: Crown Publishers, 1972), p. 218, illus. p. 84; David Michaelis, N. C. Wyeth A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), color illus. after p. 116; Alexander Nemerov, "The Boy in the Bed: The Scene of Reading in N. C. Wyeth's Wreck of the "Covenant,"" The Art Bulletin, vol. LXXXVIII, no. 1 (March 2006), ps. 9-10; John Wilmerding, "Introduction," in Andrew Wyeth, Memory and Magic (Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 2005), p. 17, illus. p. 15; Christine B. Podmaniczky, N. C. Wyeth, A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (London: Scala, 2008), I.335, p. 223; Irene M. K. Rawlings, "Illustration's Golden Age," Style 1900, vol. 22, no.4 (Winter 2009-10), p. 57; Jason Williams, "Competing Visions: The Alternate Wests of Elinor Pruitt Stewart and N. C. Wyeth," pub. in Western American Literature, vol. 44, no. 4 (Winter 2010), ps.375-376;
The artist used members of the Taylor family of Chadds Ford as models for Mrs. Hawkins and Jim. Fifteen-year-old Walter Taylor posed for Jim Hawkins; Walter died tragically at the age of 18 in 1914. Margaret Taylor posed for Mrs. Hawkins. This painting was one of three the artist chose to represent his work in the first exhibition of paintings by pupils of Howard Pyle, held in Wilmington, DE in 1912.
Wyeth himself had repainted portions of the picture by 1920. In a letter of January 17, 1920, Wyeth mentioned to former Pyle student Sidney Chase that a particular varnish he had used liberally about 1911 was yellowing badly; as an example, he cited "Jim Hawkins leaves Home." He repainted the "illuminated" section of the image, "on account of the blues turning snuffy green and the clear whites turning yellow" (NCW to Sidney M. Chase, "Just a word about the varnish..." and dated in another hand Jan. 17, 1920, Wyeth Family Archives).