Blog Post – June 25, 2010

Through November 13, 2011

The first reinstallation of Norman Rockwell’s Stockbridge Studio, A Day in the Life brings visitors back to October 1960, when the artist was hard at work on one of his most famous Saturday Evening Post covers, The Golden Rule. Recently digitized, an extensive archive of photographic negatives has made the exact recreation of a moment in time possible in celebration of the Norman Rockwell Museum’s 40th anniversary.

Photo of Norman Rockwell working on "Golden Rule," Bill Scovill.

Norman Rockwell working on “Golden Rule” in his South Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, studio, 1960. Photo by Bill Scovill. Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, IL. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum.

Reproduced to its actual size, a large charcoal drawing of the United Nations that inspired Rockwell’s cover painting will resume its original place for his reference, and a facsimile of the oil in progress will rest on his easel. Studies for The Golden Rule and other Post covers, his palette, paint tubes and props—from a French fireman’s helmet to a leather purse and an American flag—will be on view. Imagery by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingre, Canaletto, Pablo Picasso, and wife Mary Rockwell provided inspiration, as did an array of cultural artifacts that reflect the artist’s interests and experiences. Of his work on the piece Rockwell said, “I beat my brains out for four months painting it. I was completely absorbed in the project. As you know, the Golden Rule is the only common denominator of all religions including even the Druids and the Egyptians’ Book of the Dead.” Indicative of the artist’s personal philosophy, The Golden Rule was a precursor of the socially conscious subjects that he was yet to undertake.

Learn more about Norman Rockwell’s Golden Rule

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