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.)
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:
- Nov 11: Classical Concert: Elaine Lust, piano
- Nov 15: Concert: Joe Gilman
- Nov 29: Panel Discussion on “Big Dreams, Small Shoulders”
- Dec 2: Backstory: Meet Rockwell’s Models
- Dec 6: Movie: “Stagecoach”
- Dec 13: Art Mix
- Dec 20: Concert: Ricky Berger
- Jan 13: World Premiere: “Big Dreams, Small Shoulders”
- Jan 17: Concert: Ellis Paul
See more images in the photo gallery below: