Posted on September 18, 2009

Press images available upon request

Norman Rockwell Museum announces the honoring of Barbara Nessim as its first Artist Laureate. Nessim, an internationally known artist, illustrator, and educator, also served on the Museum’s Board of Trustees from 1999 until 2008. The award will be presented to Nessim on behalf of the Museum’s new Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies during its annual Board of Trustees meeting, to be held on Saturday, September, 26.

“We are honored to award our inaugural Artist Laureate award to Barbara Nessim,” says Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO of Norman Rockwell Museum. “The commendation of this award recognizes Barbara’s exceptional skills as an influential visual communicator and an early visionary in the digital arts. Barbara’s ongoing dedication to the Museum, where she has worked closely with curatorial staff, and served as a passionate advocate for the Museum’s expanded collection mission continues as she lends her vision and support- connecting the Museum to new illustration communities and younger artists.”

A selection of Barbara Nessim’s work will also be on view at Norman Rockwell Museum starting Saturday, September 26, and includes “Women In Madness,” an original work generously donated by the artist for inclusion in the Museum’s illustration art collection. Later that day, Nessim will present “Graphic Change,” an illustrated talk about her evolution as an artist and her creative inspirations. The event starts at 5:30 p.m., and is free with regular Museum admission.

About the artist

Illustrator Barbara Nessim has been a vital contributor and influential visionary in the art world over the past several decades. A digital art pioneer, Nessim helped shape the MFA Computer Arts Program at the School of Visual Arts, and was Chairperson of Illustration at Parsons School of Design for 12 years. Her work has graced the covers of “Time,” “The New York Times Magazine,” “Rolling Stone,” and many other publications. Most recently, the artist has been commissioned to create several large-scale works for various building lobbies in New York City. In addition to several years of dedicated service as a member of Norman Rockwell Museum’s Board of Trustees, Nessim acted as liaison to the Museum’s Illustrators Advisory Committee, helped develop the exhibition and participated in early discussions related to the development of the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies. In addition to Norman Rockwell Musuem, an exhibition of Nessim’s art will also be on view at The Sienna Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts, starting September 25.

For more information, contact or 413.637.8386. Visit Barbara Nessim’s Web site:

Norman Rockwell Museum Artist Laureate

Noted practitioners and past members of the Norman Rockwell Museum Board of Trustees, Artist Laureates are dedicated to the museum’s mission and to furthering public knowledge and appreciation of the art of Norman Rockwell and the art of illustration within aesthetic and cultural contexts. Appointed annually by the Board of Trustees, each Artist Laureate will continue to advise museum trustees and staff on pertinent issues relating to the advancement of its mission; provide public service that will advance mission-driven activities and reflect each Artist Laureate’s own artistic and professional goals; and inspire awareness of Norman Rockwell Museum and its activities within personal artistic and professional circles.

Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies

The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies (RCAVS) is the nation’s first research institute devoted to the art of illustration. Officially launched in 2009, Norman Rockwell Museum’s 40th anniversary year, RCAVS will bring new scholarly attention and resources to the art of illustration, a hugely influential aspect of American visual culture that is only now being studied and appreciated. Through creating new online research tools and collections access, supporting scholarship, and spurring the collection and preservation of important artworks, RCAVS will establish a context for understanding the role of illustration art in shaping and reflecting American culture. Visit the official Web site: