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The last person made famous by art

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Over the course of more than 15 years, Andrew Wyeth created 250 secret paintings. He hid them from everyone—including his wife, who was also his business manager—in the loft of a millhouse near his home in rural Pennsylvania. When they were discovered, in 1986, they generated a media frenzy that extended well beyond the art world. The Helga paintings, as they came to be called, all depicted a single subject: Helga Testorf.

Testorf opens up about her unique relationship with Wyeth for the first time in Jesse Brass’s moving short documentary, Helga. “Helga is private—very careful with who she talks to and what she says,” Brass told me. Brass’s co-director Bo Bartlett had been a longtime friend of Wyeth’s and connected the filmmaker with Testorf. “When he reached out to me,” Brass recalled, “he said, ‘Helga told me she’s ready to talk.’”

To read more on The Atlantic:

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