Christina’s World: Or the Martha Stewart of Down East

The Olson House, Cushing, Maine

I finally visited the Olson House, the former home of Christina Olson, Andrew Wyeth‘s model for “Christina’s World“. Wyeth was brought  to the Olsons by Betsy James, who he later married. Betsy wanted to show Andrew the real Maine. And real it was.

Christina's World

Andrew Wyeth, "Christina's World"

Christina lived in the house with her brother Alvaro. She was crippled and house bound. She moved about the house on a chair that she somehow managed to thump across the floor. The odor in the house must have been horrific, as she was often left to relieve herself on a stack of newspapers slid onto the seat of her chair.

Anna Cristina

Andrew Wyeth, "Anna Christina"

This bleak and tattered existence offers up a simple aesthetic that is stark and pure; faded peeling paper in one room, cracked plaster in another, floors rubbed down to their grain. Its easy to understand the appeal.

Olson House
Front Windows of the Olson House

Olson house
Olson House Upstairs Bedroom

Doorway Olson House
Doorway, Olson House

Oak Leaf Patterned Floor – Olson House

Wyeth is not a personal favorite, but having visited Chads Forth, Monhegan and now the Olson House, I certainly appreciate these places that inspired his work.

Andrew Wyeth

The Olson House

If you go:

The Olson House

Farnsworth Museum

Brandywine River Museum

The Hyde Collection

Books of Interest: