Christina Olson died at age 74 in 1968.
“Christina’s World” will live forever allowing all to touch the soul of those who face the poignant and heroic line between disability and ability.
“Christina”, Christina Olson was a real person. Born in 1893 she was challenged with an unknown progressing muscular deterioration from childhood. By age twenty-six, she could walk no more than three steps without grabbing an object, her hands were weakening, and she was experiencing exhaustion after ordinary tasks. Doctors were not able to diagnose her condition.
In 1948, Andrew Wyeth sketched Christina as she crawled down the hill to visit her parent's graves. Adding his talent as an artist and his wife Betsy as the model he painted “Christina’s World”.
To say the end result is riveting is understatement.
The thing is “Christina’s World” in one form or another is REAL for so many.
I am reminded of the first time our neighbor across the street stopped me to share that Patti had been pulling herself up our hill on our picket fence and crawling across the side yard to get into our home.
We lived in a Federalist Farm Home located on the high point of our property. You parked by the carriage house and walked up the hill to the house. Patti in the earliest years of Multiple Sclerosis fought, clawed, and crawled if necessary for the fight for independence.
Seeing the painting in the news so much today how can I not be reminded of the courage of so many Christina’s.