Norman Rockwell Museum
Receives National Humanities Medal
Posted on November 17, 2008
Norman Rockwell Museum today received the National Humanities Medal, America’s highest recognition of work by individuals and institutions in the field of the humanities. It is one of nine recipients nationwide and the only museum among the winners.
The award was presented by President George W. Bush to Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO of Norman Rockwell Museum in a ceremony held today at the White House. In his citation, President Bush noted, “Norman Rockwell Museum is being recognized for studying and honoring the life, work, and ideals of an icon of American art. The museum has been the careful curator of the archives, illustrations, and benevolent spirit Norman Rockwell bequeathed to the nation.”
“I am delighted that the Norman Rockwell Museum has received the 2008 National Humanities Medal,” said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. “Norman Rockwell’s work is an essential part of American art and the 20th-century American experience, and the Museum’s work to preserve the legacy of this iconic American artist is truly deserving of this honor.”
“Norman Rockwell Museum is deeply honored to be the recipient of the National Humanities Medal,” said Ms. Norton Moffatt, who has served as director of the museum since 1986. “Norman Rockwell’s great gift was to capture on canvas our common humanity and crystallize universal feelings through his sensitive depictions of life’s fleeting moments. He was unsurpassed in illuminating the concerns and joys of everyday Americans. For 40 years, it has been the museum’s great pleasure to contribute to the field of American visual studies by exploring the art of Norman Rockwell and the illustrators who preceded and followed him.”
Fittingly, the medallion presented to Ms. Norton Moffatt at the White House was designed by illustrator and former medal winner David Macaulay—one of over 400 illustrators whose work has been presented by Norman Rockwell Museum.
National Humanities Medal
The National Humanities Medal, inaugurated in 1997, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened Americans’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the field. Up to 12 medals can be awarded each year.
Other recipients of the 2008 National Humanities Medal include: Gabor S. Boritt, scholar and Civil War historian; Richard Brookhiser, biographer and historian; Harold Holzer, scholar and Civil War historian; Myron Magnet, journalist and author; Albert Marrin, children’s book author; Milton J. Rosenberg, radio show host and scholar; Thomas A. Saunders III and Jordan Horner Saunders, philanthropists; Robert H. Smith, philanthropist; and the John Templeton Foundation.
Past recipients of the National Humanities Medal include: Cynthia Ozick, John Updike, Fouad Ajami, Toni Morrison, Jim Lehrer, John Rawls, Barbara Kingsolver, Garrison Keillor, Studs Terkel, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Norman Rockwell Museum
Founded in 1969 with the help of Norman and Molly Rockwell, Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the enduring legacy of one of America’s greatest artists. The Museum houses the world’s largest and most significant collection of original Rockwell art, and presents the works of contemporary and past masters of illustration. The Norman Rockwell archive contains more than 200,000 photographs, letters, and other rare mementos.
Norman Rockwell Museum 40th Anniversary
In 2009, Norman Rockwell Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary. Since its founding in 1969, Norman Rockwell Museum has become the preeminent museum of American illustration art through research, publications, exhibitions and educational programming. During its anniversary, the Museum will be announcing initiatives central to the study and understanding of the art of illustration in American visual culture. In 2009, exhibitions curated by the Museum will be seen in 10 states across the nation, and the Museum’s Stockbridge campus will present its 100th exhibition and welcome its five millionth visitor.
Listen to coverage from WAMC.
- Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO, receiving the 2008 National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush at the White House.
- President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush stand with the recipients of the 2008 National Humanities Medal in the Blue Room at the White House. Norman Rockwell Museum Director and CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt is pictured on the far right.