See iconic American artist Norman Rockwell’s work at the Crocker

“Going and Coming.” Cover illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” August 30, 1947. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections ©1947: SEPS

Famous for his Saturday Evening Post covers and classic portrayal of the American lifestyle, artist Norman Rockwell had a decades-spanning career, the different aspects of which are covered in American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, on display at the Crocker Art Museum through February 3, 2013. From his early work for Boys’ Life, to advertisements and war bond posters, to journalistic coverage and even a little bit of Hollywood, this exhibit manages to cover all aspects of Rockwell’s career, giving insight to his artistic process along the way.

As our tour guide for the morning — Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts — pointed out, Rockwell lived in an era where “visual imagery was the media of the day,” and illustrators were celebrities of the time. Keeping relevant with rapidly changing technology, as well as needs of the media industry, was key for Rockwell and he streamlined and adapted his process along with the times. (The display surrounding his Murder in Mississippi piece includes news clippings and notes in Rockwell’s own hand, showing the in-depth research that went in to creating one of his works.)

“The Problem We All Live With.” Illustration for “Look,” January 14, 1964. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections ©1964: NRELC

While most will recognize Rockwell for his now-nostalgic portrayal of American life, many may be unfamiliar with his later work, which dealt with civil rights, politics, war, and other such topics of the time. These works paint a different picture — often one of a not-as-idyllic scene, but one that remains poignant and touching years after their initial creation.

For those looking to see his more well-known work, however, never fear: the exhibit ends with a display of every single one of his more than 300 Saturday Evening Post covers.

See something familiar and learn something new at this not-to-be-missed exhibit. And, if you can, enhance your experience of the exhibit by partaking in one of the Crocker’s special events or programs to give you a more in depth appreciation of the exhibit.

Upcoming related programming includes:

Plus many related more tours & talks, youth & family programs, and studio art classes.

See more images in the photo gallery below:

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