James Wyeth was raised in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He is a member of the illustrious family of artists that includes his father, Andrew Wyeth, and his grandfather, Newell Convers Wyeth.Wyeth began drawing and painting as a young child, and after the sixth grade was tutored at home so he could devote more time to art. By the time he was eighteen, Wyeth had paintings in the permanent collections of several individuals and museums. He had begun to paint portraits in oil, such as the one of Lincoln Kirstein, co-founder of the New York City Ballet, for which Wyeth required Kirstein to sit for two hundred hours. Wyeth also painted luminaries such as former U.S. president John F. Kennedy and artist Andy Warhol. He made hundreds of portraits of dancer Rudolf Nureyev, nearly forty of which were exhibited in 2002 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in New York City. The Nureyev paintings are the subject of a recent book, Capturing Nureyev: James Wyeth Paints the Dancer (Pamela J. Belanger, ed.). Wyeth is also well known for his paintings of animals in rural settings.Wyeth's works have been exhibited in many galleries and are included in numerous collections, including those of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York.He is a member of the National Academy of Design and the American Watercolor Society.