Peter Rockwell’s Grendel’s Folly, an animated assemblage of whimsical “monster” portraits, including the artist’s own likeness, has greeted visitors to Norman Rockwell Museum since 1994.
Created on location at the Museum’s Stockbridge, Massachusetts, campus from a nine-foot block of Indiana limestone, which is known to carve easily and weather well, the piece was sculpted with an assortment of tools that included pneumatic hammers and hand chisels. It is one of many sculptures the artist has created over the years that feature monsters and gargoyles.
“I’ve been told that I am unable to carve a frightening monster, that my monsters are funny,” the artist has observed, “and that makes it nice because I’ve done a lot of monsters for children to climb on.”
Norman Rockwell Museum’s bucolic, 36-acre campus features several other whimsical sculptures created by Peter Rockwell, the youngest son of Norman Rockwell. The Museum and artist invite visitors (young and old) to touch, climb, and interact with all of these fantastical faces.
Text from the 2009 Norman Rockwell Museum exhibition, The Fantastical Faces of Peter Rockwell: A Sculptor’s Retrospective. ©Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.