Coming Up: Week of May 28, 2012

"Homecoming Marine" (detail), Norman Rockwell, 1945 Oil on canvas. Cover illustration for "The Saturday Evening Post," October 13, 1945 ©1945 SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

"Homecoming Marine" (detail), Norman Rockwell, 1945 Oil on canvas. Cover illustration for "The Saturday Evening Post," October 13, 1945 ©1945 SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

Norman Rockwell Museum will be open this Memorial Day weekend, and is proud to offer free admission to active military personnel and their families. The Museum is a committed participant in the Blue Star Museums Program, and also extends the program benefits for year-round access to honor and support active military families. Thank you to all of our current and past servicemen, whose sacrifices have helped to keep our nation safe.

During your visit to the Museum, be sure to take in Norman Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms paintings, housed in their own specially-designed gallery. Rockwell was inspired to create the paintings after hearing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s historic January 6, 1941 address to Congress, articulating his vision for a postwar world founded on four basic human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. You can learn more about these paintings and other classic Rockwell artwork during our special gallery tours, provided 11 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m. Our knowledgable docents can help to answer any question you might have regarding the life and work of Norman Rockwell.

"Freedom of Speech," Norman Rockwell. 1943. Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for "The Saturday Evening Post," February 20, 1943. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©1943 SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

"Freedom of Speech," Norman Rockwell. 1943. Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for "The Saturday Evening Post," February 20, 1943. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©1943 SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

Inspired by the illustrations you see? Stop into our ArtZone, located on the Museum’s lower level, to try your hand at creating the next masterpiece. For the younger set, explore our galleries with Chief Educator Melinda Georgeson on Wednesday, May 30, starting at 10:30 a.m. Georgeson will offer an exciting interactive look at the world of art, especially for young art lovers, ages two to five, and their caregivers.

While you are here, grab lunch and enjoy the view on our outside terrace, or enjoy a picnic on our scenic 36-acre property, overlooking the Berkshire Hills and Housatonic River.

Visitors can also enjoy a trip back in time by entering Norman Rockwell’s original Stockbridge studio, which is open for the season. Learn more about Rockwell’s process on Friday, June 1, starting at 2:30 p.m., when we present a talk with former Rockwell model, Claire Williams. Rockwell’s former Stockbridge neighbor will talk about what it was like to pose for America’s favorite illustrator, and offer her memories of years the artist lived in town.

Current exhibitions include: Curator’s Choice: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection and Norman Rockwell’s 323 “Saturday Evening Post” Covers, which offers a comprehensive look at all of the cover illustrations the artist created for the publication between 1916 and 1963.

Opening Saturday, June 9, Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered is the first comprehensive, critical assessment of the artist who inspired Norman Rockwell, and is often referred to as the grandfather of American illustration. Organized by the Delaware Art Museum, the exhibition features 79 original paintings and drawings created by Pyle between 1876 and 1910, including his classic adventure scenes of Medieval knights and pirates. Join us at the exhibition opening that evening from 6 to 10:30 p.m., and stick around for our Swagger & Dagger Dance Party. Shake your pirate booty to the sounds of the Berkshire Bateria, enjoy hearty refreshments, and take part in a special pirate auction to benefit Norman Rockwell Museum. Click here for more details on how to get your pirate on.

Wishing you all a very happy start to the summer season—we look forward to seeing you then!

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