Chronology of The Kuerner Farm

1898 Karl Kuerner is born in the village of Neuffen in Wurtenberg, Germany.
1917 At 19 years old, Karl, a German machine gunner during World War I, is severely wounded in the arm during heavy fighting on the front lines. The same year, Andrew Wyeth is born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He is the youngest of illustrator N.C. Wyeth's five children.
1918 After Germany's loss at the Battle of Verdun, Karl returns to civilian life as a sheepherder near the Black Forest.
1922 Louise Kuerner is born, the first child of Karl and his bride, Anna Faulhaber Kuerner. The couple would ultimately have four daughters and one son, Karl Kuerner, Jr.
1923 Karl sails to America, leaving Anna and Louise in Germany. Karl works in a Philadelphia slaughterhouse for two years.
1925 Anna and Louise sail to America with money saved and sent by Karl. Living in Philadelphia, Anna grows depressed and homesick for the German village where she grew up. The noisy city disturbs her and, as a result, she shows her first signs of social withdrawal.
1926 Karl and his family move to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, renting the farm that they would work and call home for the rest of their lives. The farm is located approximately one third of a mile from Turner's Mill, where illustrator Howard Pyle taught his famous art school during the summers of 1898 to 1903. One half mile away was "Windtryst" where Pyle's student, N.C. Wyeth, rented an apartment before building his own house and studio, roughly a mile from the Kuerner Farm.
1932 At 15 years old, Andrew Wyeth completes his first painting of the Kuerner Farm. This work in oil marks the beginning of the Kuerner Farm's influence on Andrew Wyeth as an important source of artistic inspiration for almost seven decades.
1940 After 14 years of frugal living and hard work, Karl buys the farm. By this time, however, Anna is extremely reclusive, even to Karl's German friends who visit on Sundays.
1945 N.C. Wyeth and his young grandson are killed when their car is hit by a train at a railroad crossing, adjacent to the Kuerner Farm.
1948 Karl salvages a cache of green serpentine rock from N.C. Wyeth's former residence, "Windtryst," after it burns down. The stones are used to construct the entrance posts, several walls and a chimney at the Kuerner Farm.
1971 Andrew Wyeth begins to paint Helga Testorf, a German immigrant who helps the Kuerner family care for the aging Karl.
1976 Wyeth at Kuerners, written by Betsy James Wyeth, is published by Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA). The large book contains 376 pencil, drybrush, watercolor, oil and tempera pictures by Andrew Wyeth of the Kuerner Farm exclusively. Instead of being arranged chronologically by the dates they were painted, the images are placed geographically as if the reader is walking through the property.
1979 Karl Kuerner dies.
1987 More than 240 works by Andrew Wyeth of Helga Testorf, many painted at the Kuerner Farm, are exhibited at the National Gallery of Art.
1997 Anna Kuerner dies.
1998 One hundred years after Karl Kuerner's birth, his son, Karl Kuerner Jr., approaches the Brandywine Conservancy about preserving the farm.
1999 The Brandywine Conservancy formally acquires the Kuerner Farm.
2004 The Brandywine River Museum of Art opens the Kuerner Farm to public tours.

Brandywine River Museum of Art, U.S. Route 1, P.O. Box 141
Chadds Ford, PA 19317 • Phone: 610-388-2700

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