Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting "Christina's World"

I was happy to learn that the Olson farm in Cushing, Maine, was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks yesterday.

My family spent many summers in the 1950s and 1960s in a cabin not far from there, and my parents knew many people in the area. Andrew Wyeth was spending his summers there at the time, painting the people and landscapes. I was fairly young when my parents took me to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine, to see a Wyeth exhibit there. It was my first experience with an art museum, and I’ve been going back ever since.

“Christina’s World” was the first work of art that caught my attention. I saw it on that first visit, and I remember my parents having to pull me away from it. I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve since seen it a few other times.

Years later, in the late 1970s I think, I went back to find the farmhouse. The Olsons had all passed away, and the farmhouse stood empty, though it was being taken care of. I went down through the field to try to position myself in the same spot that Christina would have been in the painting. It came as a bit of a shock to realize that directly behind her, though not shown in the painting, is a small family cemetery where she is now buried.

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