Norman Rockwell and the Ghost of Dickens

November 19, 2011 through February 25, 2012

"Merrie Christmas: Couple Dancing under Mistletoe," Norman Rockwell, 1928. Oil on canvas. Cover illustration for "The Saturday Evening Post," December 8, 1928. Collection of Bank of America. ©1928 SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.

"Merrie Christmas: Couple Dancing Under Mistletoe," Norman Rockwell, 1928. Oil on canvas. Cover illustration for "The Saturday Evening Post," December 8, 1928. Collection of Bank of America. ©1928 SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.

In My Adventures as an Illustrator, Norman Rockwell’s 1960 autobiography, the artist recalled memories from his youth that were seminal to his later work as an illustrator. Of particular importance were evening readings from the classic tales of Charles Dickens by his father Jarvis Waring Rockwell, after-dinner treats that sparked his imagination and his love of narrative storytelling.

Throughout his life, Rockwell would cite the significance of those nightly readings and the influence of Dickens on his art. Not only did the author provide a lexicon of human experience and personality types for Rockwell to explore, he also inspired the artist’s portrayal of Dickensian characters throughout his career.

We are pleased to present this lively visual exploration in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, on February 7, 1812, with appreciation to our lenders, who have made rarely seen original artworks available for public viewing.

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