Disciplined German energy runs strong at the historic Kuerner Farm, located in Chadds Ford, PA. This energy can be seen in the many images artists – humans and nature beings – have created at this site. Human artists – including the renown Andrew Wyeth – painted and drew; nature being artists crafted in the site’s trees and rocks.
The Farm had been purchased, in the early 1900s, by Karl Kuerner and his wife, who had immigrated from Germany. Some of Wyeth’s art are imaginative portrait studies of Karl Kuerner’s life. The nature beings also crafted images of Karl’s life. and that’s the story I’m telling here.
A Plein Air Outing
The Kuerner Farm is now an historical site owned and operated by the Brandywine Museum. It is occasionally opened to the public, on a special “plein air” days for artists.
I visited on one such day and started, as always, by saluting the nature beings. I asked them to show me any story they would like photographed…then followed their call. I never know what they will show me.
Nature being artists are attracted to energetically strong stories and here they were impressed by Kuerner’s courageous discipline, quiet generosity and deep connection to nature. That Wyeth and the nature beings created very similar images of Kuerner’s energy speaks volumes about the sensitivity and connection to a common universal consciousness that all these actors shared.
The Front Stone Wall
Kuerner had been a German gunner in WWI and the survival skills he learned there stood him well in his new land and the rugged farm life he now lived.
Shown here are Wyeth’s images of Kuerner as a soldier, and of a man in a country-style winter hat walking down the hill opposite the Kuerner farm.
Above are the nature being artists’ depiction of these same energies, which they sculpted into the stone wall leading from the Kuerner’s front door (see top right) to the fields beyond. Karl would have walked those stairs many times, in good weather and bad, in good times and bad.
The nature being artists crafted Kuerner’s core energies as supportive totem images in the very stones of this wall. They are energies the farmer would have needed in times of emotional need. The bottom image shows a man in a military helmet. The upper image shows a man wearing a winter hat with ear flaps.
The Back Yard Stone Wall
As I have heard told, during WWII German prisoners of war, located in a local pow camp, were permitted to do farm work at the Kuerner’s.
That would have been an example of Kuerner’s quiet compassion – taking the men out of prison and into nature. And also of Kuerner’s pragmatic survival skills – he needed farm help at a time when most strong young men were soldiers themselves, fighting overseas.
The back lawn, shaded by trees, would have been an ideal rest area for these men. And here, in the retaining stone wall, the nature being artists fashioned the heads of two WWII German soldiers. The one on the left was young with light energy, the one on the right older with a sterner nature. Both are wearing typical German Garrison caps.
Generations of Inspiration
Today Karl Kuerner’s grandson (also named Karl) is dedicated to helping maintain the integrity of this site. Karl studied painting with the Wyeths, growing up following Andy around on his visits to the farm. Karl’s art is very much in the Brandywine School tradition and on occasion he conducts painting classes at the farm. He came by on this day to say hello to the artists working on site.
The farm is clearly dearly loved by the Kuerner family, who sold it to the Brandywine Museum where much of the Wyeth family art resides, and all involved work respectfully to preserve it as an important historical site. The love of this farm runs deep, in both human beings and nature beings. It was an honor to be granted access by its human caretakers, and to be shown this story by its nature being caretakers.