- The Olson House in Cushing, Maine, is now a National Landmark. Credit: David Troup/Courtesy of the Farnsworth Art Museum
If you stand at a window of the Olson farmhouse, you can see the hillside where a young Christina Olson, stricken with polio and unable to walk, crouched in the field as she crawled toward the house. Now the farmhouse, which artist Andrew Wyeth put in the background of his iconic 1948 painting, “Christina’s World,” is officially a National Historic Landmark.
The painting, one of the most recognized of the 20th century, is owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. But you can visit the farmhouse in Cushing, Maine, owned by the Farnsworth Art Museum in nearby Rockland, and recognize in the house and the surrounding countryside many of the elements that Wyeth put into his work. The U.S. Department of the Interior awarded the building landmark status this summer.
Wyeth summered in Maine for 30 years and befriended Christina and her younger brother Alvaro, who were subjects of his paintings from 1940 to 1968.
The Farnsworth Art Museum has mounted an exhibition of 50 watercolors and drawings titled “Wyeth, Christina’s World and the Olson House,” on view through Oct. 30. Most of the collection is owned by the Marunuma Art Park in Asaka, Japan, and have rarely been seen in the United States.