The famed American illustrator N.C. Wyeth was commissioned to do a series of seventeen works that would illustrate Brander Matthews’ 1922 book, Poems of American Patriotism published in New York by Charles Scribner’s Sons. The volume contained some of the country’s best-known verses on iconic episodes in American history: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride,” Oliver Wendell Holmes’ “Grandmother’s Story of Bunker Hill Battle,” John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Barbara Frietchie,” and Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” among many others. With his keen sense of the dramatic moment and masterful technique, Wyeth captured these episodes in the large-scale oil paintings he did as models for the book illustrations. The paintings were donated in 1923 to The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, which has lent them to the Farnsworth for a rare showing outside their long-time home.
The primary media sponsor for N.C. Wyeth—Poems of American Patriotism is Down East magazine, books and online.