Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Andrew Wyeth & Olsen House in Cushing, Maine

Posted on | August 16, 2009 | 17 Comments

Olson House

Garden @ Olsen House

Greg and I spent a long weekend up in Maine. My favorite stop, The Olsen House in Cushing, Maine. The Olsen House was made famous by painter Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World, a beautiful painting depicting a young Christina Olson crawling in the front field of the home. Wyeth created many works at the Olson house. The house is magical. A big center hall colonial sits high up on a rolling grassy hill that meanders it’s way down to the cold Maine ocean.

Wyeth painted in almost every room of the house. Simple images of the paintings are framed in the rooms to give visitors an idea of what Wyeth saw. The gorgeous light in the house is transcendental. Soft rays of summer sunshine flow through the wavy old panes of the windows. Each corner of the house is a perfect still life waiting to be painted. Below are a several photos I took of the house showcasing the beautiful light.

At the very bottom are photos of the field that meanders it’s way down to the ocean. Andrew Wyeth is buried at the base of the hill in a cemetery overlooking the ocean. A truly special place to visit.

The Olson House
Hathorne Point Road
Cushing, Maine

Updated July 5th, 2011: The US Department of the Interior has declared the Olsen House a National Historic Landmark, yay!

Front Door @ Olsen House

First Floor Room @ Olsen House

Pantry Looking into Kitchen @ Olsen HouseKitchen @ Olsen House

Geraniums in Kitchen @ Olsen House

Mop and Bucket @ Olsen House

Window @ Olsen House

Second Floor Bedroom @ Olsen House

Beautiful Window Light @ Olsen House

Looking at Window At Ocean @ Olsen House

Field @ Olsen House

Wildflowers @ Olsen House in Maine

Field @ Olsen House in Mid-August

Gravestones @ Olson HouseAndrew Wyeth Gravestone in Maine

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17 Responses to “Andrew Wyeth & Olsen House in Cushing, Maine”

  1. GreG
    August 17th, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    It was interesting to learn about the Tempera paint Wyeth used and see the room he used to crack the eggs and mix the paint. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera
    The hot sun made for some great light walking through the house and yet the house remained cool.


  2. Jane Flanagan
    August 17th, 2009 @ 11:19 am

    Absolutely stunning photographs Katy! I'm swooning at every last one!


  3. chelsea
    August 17th, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

    Oh my gosh I love this place! When I visited, I really loved how they kept the house empty so you can truly feel the effects of the light everywhere I also love the cemetery across the street!!


  4. Jennifer
    August 17th, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

    very cool!


  5. katy elliott
    August 17th, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

    Thanks guys! It's a great place to visit if your in the Rockland, Maine area.


  6. molly ruth
    August 17th, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

    Katy- I have been to the farnsworth museum, but never stopped by the Olsen house in Cushing. Thank you so much! Your photos capture the magic of that house and why Andrew painted there.


  7. sandihester
    August 18th, 2009 @ 7:24 am

    I really enjoyed this post. I'm a watercolor artist and love Wyeth. Thanks for sharing!


  8. Anonymous
    August 18th, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    These pictures are great! I especially love the picture with the flowers in the window! Beautiful!!! :)


  9. Vanya
    September 6th, 2009 @ 4:20 am

    Hi Katy

    What a gorgeous house and wonderful view – divine. I love Christina’s world, one of my fav paintings since I was a kid, so interesting to see where the artist lived, thanks for sharing :)


  10. ctstyle
    September 16th, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    Dying to visit. Beautiful pictures, thanks!


  11. Bengt Akesson
    October 1st, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

    Wonderful place, Looks just like summer here in Sweden…:-)


  12. Elizabeth
    October 3rd, 2009 @ 10:12 am

    I loved my visit to the Olsen House when I went years and years ago. I loved the geraniums in the window when I went too. I need to go back on my next visit to Maine. Thanks for bringing back the memories!


  13. Laurie
    October 12th, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    Thanks for posting this, I had heard that Andrew wanted to be buried in Maine, but wasn’t positive. I was on here looking to find out the info. and here it was. I was born and still live in Maine, and I am going to visit the Olsen house for the 2nd time this week with a friend and my youngest daughter who will be feeling the awe of the feelings that you receive from the experience . Thanks


  14. Daniel
    March 28th, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

    ” A must see !! It’s like stepping back in time! The home is on it’s 258th year of existance. This home was once the sea captains Inn house, occupied by Samuel Hathorn in the 1800s. I DO hope that this place will be for always preserved, and protected. May god bless this wonderful place on Maple Juice cove. “


  15. Marc Widershien
    April 29th, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    I visited Cushing on April 26, 2010. I had no idea where the Olson House was. I was even more surprised to see Andrew Wyeth buried there in the family plot. He was humble, and I felt that humility in the land encased in simplicity. I learned more about Wyeth that day, than I did from his art. But my visit there heightened my appreciation of his work to which I now return in an altered perspective.


  16. Lesley
    July 17th, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    I too have visited this house and been very moved. The simplicity of a true Maine lifestyle is to be admired. I had no idea Andrew Wyeth was buried there, just assumed he was in Chadd’s Ford, PA. After I visited here I read his biography – a GREAT read.


  17. Luise
    September 24th, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    I live not far from the Olson homestead, went with a real Mainer (that’s one who is born here and still live here; as apposed to us flatlanders.)

    Wow even on a grey day, one could see why Andrew was so attracted to the place. He must have been a kid in a candy store, every cracked wall and scared window sill must have been a thrill. Seems to love to paint those details.

    Even my sceptical Maine friend was impressed. We really had no idea that such a wonderful peacefull but history driven location was so near by. To walk into the art and see it and feel it yourself. Inspiring!!!

    Great drive out to the homestead, I recommend getting lost or shall I say missing the turn, it is worth see the whole penicula.

    Katy the pictures you took are wonderful, but until its seen; no picture can do it justice. Its got to be seen.


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