Stockbridge, MA, June 12, 2012—Norman Rockwell Museum’s Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies presents its first Distinguished Scholar Award to Walt Reed, a renowned scholar, author, and art historian, in recognition for his lifelong commitment to scholarship relating to the art of illustration. In the words of noted American illustrator Tom Lovell, Walt Reed “saved illustration” by preserving and presenting original works of art created for publication that would otherwise have been lost.
Through Mr. Reed’s generous encouragement, others have forged careers as curators and historians, and as collectors of the illustration arts. His writings, which reflect his vast knowledge about the history of illustration and individual American illustrators, have established a significant base of scholarship, and have spurred appreciation and understanding. His work has been particularly inspirational to curators at the Norman Rockwell Museum, who have benefited from his knowledge and expertise.
Reed is the author of many books on American illustration, including The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000 (2001), the invaluable chronological compendium of illustrators and their art which has updated and re-issued several times, and most recently, Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West (2010). He is also the founder of Illustration House, a respected New York City art gallery that has promoted and encouraged serious consideration of the art of illustration for almost 40 years.
“With this tribute, we highlight Walt Reed’s lifelong commitment to scholarship relating to the art of illustration,” notes Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt. “Through his encouragement, others have pursued careers related to the illustration arts. Reed’s encyclopedic knowledge about the field has inspired all who have had the opportunity to meet him, and his generous sharing of that information has enticed others to preserve the beauty and wonder of this important American art form.”
About Walt Reed
Born in 1917, Walt Reed is the world’s foremost scholar and historian of illustration art. Mr. Reed was trained as an illustrator at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and the Phoenix Art Institute in New York City, and freelanced as a book illustrator prior to joining the instructional staff of the Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut. There he worked with some of America’s most prominent illustrators, including Norman Rockwell, Steve Dohanos, Robert Fawcett and Albert Dorne. Reed served as editor for North Light Publications from 1972 to 1976. In 1974, Reed founded Illustration House, Inc., a gallery specializing in the field of illustration and dedicated to the preservation of this vital form of American art. His many books on the subject of illustration include The Illustrator in America; Harold von Schmidt Draws and Paints the Old West; John Clymer, An Artist’s Rendezvous with the Frontier West; An Artist’s Rendezvous with the Frontier West; Great American Illustrators; The Magic Pen of Joseph Clement Coll; The Art of Tom Lovell—an Invitation to History; and Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West. Reed also designed the Bicentennial 50 State Flag stamps for the U.S. Postal Service in 1976 and has been a consultant on several subsequent stamp projects. Visit Illustration House online at www.illustrationhouse.com.
About The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies
The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum is the nation’s first research institute dedicated to the integrative study of American illustration and its impact in our world. The Rockwell Center’s goal is to enhance and support scholarship relating to this significant public art form, exploring the power of published images and their integral role in society, culture, and history, and the world of art― from the emergence of printed mass media in the mid-nineteenth century to the innovations of digital media today.
The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies is comprised of several distinct programs designed to advance scholarship and access relating to this influential but understudied aspect of American visual culture. Rockwell Center programs include:
Rockwell Scholars Program
The Rockwell Center awards annual fellowships promoting the scholarly study of American illustration art to advance understanding of the role of published images in shaping and reflecting American culture.
ProjectNORMAN (New Online Rockwell Media Art & Archive Network)
A multi-year online publishing project that provides access to thousands of artworks and objects relating to the art of illustration, ProjectNORMAN makes art and archival materials broadly available to researchers, curators, students and general public.
Illustration Partnership Network
The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies provides direct online access to collections and partner institutions nationwide that collect and interpret significant collections of original illustration art.
Programs, Workshops, and Symposia
A year-round program of public lectures, workshops, and symposia presented by the Rockwell Center provides engaging, thought-provoking programmatic opportunities for diverse audiences.
Distinguished Illustrator Exhibitions
Distinguished Illustrator exhibitions honor the unique contributions of outstanding contemporary visual communicators and reflect the impact and evolution of Norman Rockwell’s beloved profession through vibrant installations exploring a diverse and ever-changing field.