Norman Rockwell Exhibit Coming to Crystal Bridges

by Jan Cottingham  on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 9:15 am  

A traveling exhibition of Norman Rockwell paintings will open March 9 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

Rockwell was a popular illustrator and one of the most noted of American artists. His "Rosie the Riveter" is part of the museum's permanent collection.

The exhibit, "American Chronicles: The Art of Normal Rockwell," will feature 50 original paintings and all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers, the museum said. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., is organizing the exhibit, which will be on view through May 27.

Among the paintings to be presented are a number of high-profile works, including "Triple Self-Portrait," "Girl at Mirror," "Going and Coming" and "Art Critic." Also on view will be portraits of  Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.

"Rockwell's images helped bring art to a broad segment of the public," said Kevin Murphy, Crystal Bridges curator of American art. "His illustrations are so recognizable and popular that they helped make painted images part of mainstream visual culture."

The exhibition will also feature materials from the Norman Rockwell Museum's archives that show how Rockwell worked, such as preliminary sketches, color studies and detailed drawings down to the finished artworks.

"Rockwell understood his place in popular culture of the time," Murphy said in a museum press release. "He understood that he had been adopted as an interpreter of the American dream, and he wanted his work to engage in the larger tradition of Western art, so he would put in references to great works of art through history. Sometimes they're obvious, sometimes they're not. It was a way for him to connect with great art of the past."



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