An In-Depth Look at Christina's World
About Christina's World
Wyeth, who had summered in Maine for many years, met the spinster Olson and her bachelor brother, Alvaro, in 1939. The three were introduced by Wyeth's future wife, Betsy James (b. 1922), another long-term summer resident. It's hard to say what fired the young artist's imagination more: the Olson siblings or their residence.
The most famous "model" in this scene is the Olson farmhouse itself, on the National Register of Historic Places since 1995.
More telling is how large a part Christina's World plays in popular culture. Writers, filmmakers and other visual artists reference it, and the public has always loved it. 45 years ago you'd have been hard-pressed to find a single Pollock reproduction within 20 square city blocks, but everyone knew at least one person who had a copy of Christina's World hanging somewhere on a wall.