We at the Norman Rockwell Museum were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jerry Pinkney (1939-2021), a true master of American illustration and one of the kindest and most genuine individuals that we have every had the pleasure of working with. We have been fortunate to collaborate with this gifted artist on several important projects over the course of two decades and to share Jerry’s work in two major national traveling exhibitions, Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney and Jerry Pinkney, Imaginings: An Artist’s Explorations of Images and Words. A great friend to the Museum and always generous with his time and talents, Jerry worked closely with us to spark creativity in enthusiastic students at regional schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and we were proud to launch a curriculum project created in conjunction with these projects. In 2016, Jerry became the Museum’s Artist Laureate, advocating for our work and highlighting the power of illustration and storytelling to educate and inspire.
WEEKENDS FOR ENCHANTED: A HISTORY OF FANTASY ILLUSTRATION
Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23, 2021
Explore the art and history of fantasy illustration and the mythical, mystical, folkloric artworks by masterful artists who are leading the way in this popular genre. Often inspired by the fantastical in literature, fantasy art has been prominent through the centuries in medieval, mannerist, magic realist, romantic, and surrealist imagery. The field’s historical underpinnings and inspirations will be the subject of conversation by exhibition curator Jesse Kowalski as well as prominent practitioners whose art is featured in Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration.
This event is organized by the Appraisers Association.
September 20, 2021 1-2 p.m. EST
America’s most prominent twentieth-century illustrator, Norman Rockwell was revered by his public and reviled by many in the art world, but his paintings were made to last. Replaced at the turn of a page by a succession of magazine issues and illustrations, his visual narratives called the history of European art into play, employing classical painting methodology to weave contemporary tales inspired by everyday people and places. A cast of affable, exquisitely painted characters and a plethora of supporting details kept him and his audience engaged, and inspired belief by millions in the uniquely American vision that he conceived and continued to refine.
Magazines are increasingly emerging as critical sites in developing a new understanding of the dynamic relationship between “fine” art and mass culture. Throughout the 20th century, a wide range of American periodicals commissioned artists to produce work for covers and feature stories, but many of these commissions have been left out of histories of modernism. This session considers three case studies to convey the rich trajectory of art and magazines: Edward Hopper’s covers for the Wells Fargo Messenger, Mine Okubo’s drawings in Fortune magazine, and Saul Steinberg’s work for such publications as Life, Look, Sports Illustrated, and Time. The papers explore the origins of and motivations behind such commissions and analyzes the art as it was originally published in print, showing how advertisements, adjacent articles, and captions shaped the initial reception and understanding of the works.
Friday and Saturday, January 15 and 16, 2021
For designers, cartoonists, and illustrators, many questions arise when creating art that takes up socially significant, sometimes controversial themes. Some choose the D.I.Y. route, working independently with a free hand, without access to the large scale distribution that comes with a recognizable masthead. Others work with leading news organizations and magazines, agreeing to collaborate in exchange for access to audiences. Popular art has always involved such choices. What are the tradeoffs? What are the rewards?
This timely symposium will explore historical and contemporary notions of freedom as well as the role of illustration as a force in shaping public perception. How has published imagery affected decision-making, public policy, and cultural understanding? Prominent authors, illustrators, and scholars will offer perspectives. Share your observations by participating in all or some of these compelling conversations.
This program is supported in part by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
Join arts and cultural historian Skylar Smith for this series of snappy virtual art experiences exploring the social, cultural, and material underpinnings of classic illustrations, which are re-contextualized for today’s times. The continuity and evolution of American identity, branding, politics, women’s rights, and gender identity is explored with humor, wit, and a deep dive into the history and cultural context of the moment.
The Society of Fellows at the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies announces a seminal conference:
LOCATION: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri,
DATE: March 21-23, 2019
CONVENED BY: The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the D. B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Read the following New York Times article by James Barron to learn how high school students were inspired to have a New York City street renamed to honor Norman Rockwell. Manhattan Street is Renamed After Norman Rockwell
2011 Rockwell Center Scholar, Michael Lobel Awarded the 28th Annual Eldredge Prize for His Book John Sloan: Drawing on Illustration
The Smithsonian American Art Museum has awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art to Michael Lobel for his book John Sloan: Drawing on Illustration (Yale University Press, 2014). The jurors cited the meticulous research and exceptionally high quality of prose of the book. Sloan’s early work in illustration has frequently