Legend of American Art Norman Rockwell Comes to the Crocker

  • SACRAMENTO, California
  • /
  • April 27, 2012

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“The Problem We All Live With,” Norman Rockwell, 1963. Oil on canvas, 36 x 58 in. Illustration for “Look,” January 14, 1964. Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, IL. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections.

The Crocker Art Museum is proud to present a collection by one of America’s most iconic and beloved artists, Norman Rockwell, from November 10, 2012 through February 3, 2013. “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell” offers a rare look at nostalgic and historic works from the Norman Rockwell Museum collection that explores the artist, his images, and their impact and influence on American culture. This exhibition will feature 50 paintings and 323 original “Saturday Evening Post” covers.

“Rockwell’s images have become icons of the American experience and continue to resonate with each generation,” says Scott A. Shields, the Crocker Art Museum’s Associate Director and Chief Curator. “This exhibition includes numerous paintings that have helped define who we are.”

The timelessness and emotion of Rockwell’s work draws every generation. This exhibition explores his themes of family (“Freedom from Want” and “Christmas Homecoming”), innocence (“Girl at Mirror”), and hometown heroism (“Mine America’s Coal”) that permeate Rockwell’s work. His unique artistic legacy offers a personal chronicle of 20th-century life and aspirations that has both reflected and profoundly influenced American perceptions and ideals.

“Art Critic,” Norman Rockwell, 1955. Oil on canvas, 39 ½ x 36 ¼ in. Cover illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,“ April 16, 1955. ©1955 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections.

Rockwell’s paintings narrate life with love, affection, and humor, and he used these uplifting sentiments effectively while creating commercial and advertising work during his 47-year tenure at the “Saturday Evening Post.” Then, in 1964, Rockwell used his illustrative and storytelling skills at “Look” magazine to illuminate social issues such as war, racism, poverty, and injustice. His January 14, 1964 cover, “The Problem We All Live With,” documented the traumatic realities of desegregation in the South. The painting still receives national acclaim and was recently on display at the White House at the request of President Obama to commemorate the event that inspired Rockwell to create the bold illustration: the 50th anniversary of Ruby Bridges’ history-changing walk on November 14, 1960 that integrated the William Frantz Public School in New Orleans.

 A fully illustrated catalog of the exhibition will be available in the Crocker Art Museum Store.

”American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell” has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. “American Chronicles” has been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpieces Program. Sponsor support has been provided by Robert W. Baird & Co. and Hanson Bridgett LLP. Publication support has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Media sponsorship has been provided by the Curtis Publishing Company and by the Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company. Conservation support provided by the Stockman Family Foundation.


Tags: american art

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