Painted in Cushing, Maine, The James Place is a depiction of the southern side of Broad Cove Farmhouse, which was originally owned by the parents of Andrew Wyeth's wife, Betsy James, and still remains in the family today. The structure near the left edge of the composition is the studio wing and the family's barn can be seen in the distance at right.
Wyeth's depictions of Maine are noted for their direct simplicity characterized by subtle, muted colors—an aesthetic encouraged by Betsy. While Wyeth evolved stylistically over the years, his subject matter remained remarkably consistent. Dividing his time between Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and Maine, he never ceased to study and explore the landscapes and inhabitants of these two deeply personal locales. Of his commitment to place, art historian Adam Weinberg has noted: "As [Wyeth] has recounted time and again, his family history and personal experience in each place inflected his feeling for the land itself. 'I couldn't get any of this feeling without a very strong connection for a place ... it's that I was born here, lived here—things have meaning for me"' (Unknown Terrain, New York, 1998, p. 21).