It is a big week for us here at Norman Rockwell Museum, as we gear up to open our newest exhibition, Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered, on Saturday, June 9. Howard Pyle (1853-1911) is often referred to as the “grandfather of American illustration,” so what better venue to display his influential artwork than our Museum dedicated to the field of illustration? Organized by the Delaware Art Museum, which owns a substantial collection of Pyle’s work, the exhibition features an outstanding selection of the artist’s best known and rarely seen paintings, drawings, prints, and archival materials that shed light on the artist’s career as a painter and a consummate storyteller in a changing world at the cusp of the 20th century.
You are certain to recognize Pyle’s artistic influence through his adventure-based illustrations of pirates, knights, historical scenes and fairy tales. We will be featuring a companion exhibition of artworks from Pyle’s students, which included N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish; the exhibition has been curated from our own permanent illustration collection (which includes some original Pyle artwork as well). Another artist who was greatly influenced by Howard Pyle was Norman Rockwell, and we will be exhibiting his tribute to Pyle, the pirate-themed Family Tree (1959).
The opening for Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered will take place Saturday, June 9, from 6 to 11 p.m., and include remarks from Margaretta S. Frederick, Chief Curator/Curator of the Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection at Delaware Art Museum; the dedication of Norman Rockwell Museum’s “Distinguished Scholar Award” to Walt Reed of Illustration House; and our Swagger & Dagger Dance Party, featuring the lively sounds of the Berkshire Bateria, and a special pirate treasure auction to benefit the Museum. Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered is made possible by Henry Luce Foundation, Foundation Sponsor, and Wyeth Foundation for American Art.
We have exciting news about an upcoming loan of original Norman Rockwell art—more details soon. In the meantime, enjoy selections from our permanent collection of Norman Rockwell and illustration art, Rockwell’s entire set of 323 Saturday Evening Post covers, and the artist’s original Stockbridge studio, now open to the public. Learn more about Rockwell’s work during our special curatorial conversation, “Norman Rockwell: Humorous Tales and Little Known Facts,” being held this Friday, June 8, at 2:30 p.m. Curator of Education Tom Daly will offer an illustrated look at Rockwell’s unique brand of humor. Free with Museum admission, members free.
We look forward to seeing you this week at Norman Rockwell Museum—your home for American illustration art.