The Olson House (2)

By Peter V. Nielsen

The Olson House shows a large number of sights that are brought into Andrew Wyeth’s paintings. A few will be mentioned in the following, e.g.: Weather Side, Olson House in Fog, Woodstove, Geraniums, Wind from the Sea, Alvaro and Christina, End of Olson, Christina’s World and Family Graveyard.

In some way the Olson house is not the object of Wyeth’s paintings any more, but Wyeth’s paintings are on the contrary the background for the house. Arrangement with an old wagon can to some extent be recognized as Alvaro’s Hayrack, and the red flowers in the kitchen window are very typical Geraniums.

All the surroundings in Wyeth’s paintings were wilder and less preserved than the surroundings you see today, except for Christina’s World which expresses this clean loneliness, where even the two houses in the horizon are leaving each other.

Andrew Wyeth's weather side
Weather Side

Andrew Wyeth’s olson house in fog
Olson house in Fog

 Andrew Wyeth’s wind from the sea
Wind from the Sea

Andrew Wyeth’s alvaro and christina
Alvaro and Christina

Andrew Wyeth’s christina's world
Christina’s World

Andrew Wyeth’s woodstove
Woodstove (1)

Andrew Wyeth’s woodstove
Woodstove (2)

Andrew Wyeth’s gernaiums

Andrew Wyeth’s end of olson
End of Olson

Andrew Wyeth’s family graveyard
Family Graveyard


In 2002 Dudley Rockwell showed people around in the Olson House. He could tell stories about Christina Olson because he was a neighbour to the Olsons, and he was also related to the Wyeths. He was a fine craftsman, and he built a detailed model of the Olson house and the barn to the Olson house. Both models are on exhibition at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

dudley rockwell in the kitchen of the olson house
Dudley Rockwell in the kitchen of the Olson house


The Olson house is also an interesting place to visit if you look for traditional Maine architecture. The house shows many details, which support the understanding of the humble life of the Maine inhabitants, in this case, descents from Scandinavian immigrants. In 2002 you could see the floor painted with leafs. This is and old Maine tradition and it was recommended for the house by Betsy Wyeth.

floor in the olson house with painted leafs
Floor in the Olson house with painted leafs