A few quiet years later, on October 19, 1945, N.C. and his son Nathaniel’s three-year-old, Newell, were sitting in their stopped car on a railroad track, watching a farmer and his wife shuck corn, when a train struck their vehicle, killing them both. N.C. had been working on a mural commission at the time of his death, which Andrew finished on his behalf.
While N.C. had painted Andrew as a young boy, Andrew never painted his father, a fact he came to regret after N.C.’s untimely death. Andrew did not repeat the mistake with his own son
, who also went on to become an artist. Andrew’s Faraway
(1952) shows Jamie huddled in a field and wearing a coonskin cap, while Jamie’s 1969 Portrait of Andrew Wyeth
shows his father, aging and somber against a black background.