February 15 through November 16, 2008
Many of Norman Rockwell’s illustrations for periodicals, advertising campaigns, and other publications, were created to show the engagement of Americans in the process of electing a president. From 1952 to 1960, Rockwell’s portraits of the major presidential candidates – including Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy – graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post. In 1964, after his association with the Post ended, he began working for Look, where he continued to generate portraits of the presidential candidates. These included such notables as Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.
This collections-based exhibition features Norman Rockwell’s portraits of the candidates from 1952 to 1968, which bring us back to an America that witnessed the war in Vietnam, political assassinations, and one of the most complex elections in the nation’s history. Rockwell’s relationship with the candidates, and subsequently with the presidency, will be explored through correspondence and photographs from his personal papers, as well as his Presidential Medal of Freedom.