In 1908, N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945) and his wife, Carolyn, rented property in Chadds Ford that included Pyle’s Barn. The structure, located on the south side of the main road through Chadds Ford (now U.S. Route 1) just east of the village, became one of Wyeth’s favorite motifs, even after the family moved to another property in 1911. He painted the barn at least six times, in daylight and moonlight, using a variety of impressionistic styles. In the painting, he laid down small strokes of unmixed color, taking advantage of the eye’s tendency to blend colors. The technique was derived from Wyeth’s study of the work of the Swiss-Italian artist Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899), whose paintings he admired greatly.
In 1918, rumors that the old barn would be torn down prompted Wyeth to construct a replica of it from packing crates as a Christmas present for his nine-year-old daughter, Carolyn. The toy barn still can be seen in the N. C. Wyeth studio, which is open to the public through the Brandywine River Museum of Art.
By 1927, the deteriorating barn was owned by the Pyle family of Chadds Ford (unrelated to Howard Pyle), hence the name “Pyle’s barn.” In 1936, the barn’s foundation was moved to make way for a widening of U.S. Route 1. A modern building, incorporating aspects of barn architecture, now includes some of the original stone foundation.