Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Growth of a Leader," 1966

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Growth of a Leader,” 1966. Illustration for Boy Scouts of America, 1966. Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections. ©Brown and Bigelow, Inc. All rights reserved.

Stockbridge, MA, June 27, 2014—Norman Rockwell Museum will celebrate Independence Day Weekend with an all-American family day to be held on Saturday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Throughout the day, visitors will have the opportunity to meet Norman Rockwell’s former models, who will share their memories of posing for America’s favorite illustrator.

The day begins at 11 a.m. with an apple pie bake-off, created by Berkshire bakeries and judged by Rockwell models; enjoy your own sample of pie, while supplies last. At noon, meet Massachusetts State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, who will talk about posing as a young “astronaut“ for Rockwell in 1969, and view the original space suit he wore for the session. At 12:30 p.m., lifelong Stockbridge resident, Claire Williams will talk about meeting Rockwell in an area sketch class, and serving as one of his models for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance advertisements in the 1950s. At 1 p.m., join Buddy Edgerton and his son Jim Edgerton, Rockwell’s next-door neighbors in Arlington, Vermont, for a look at the Boy Scouts illustrations they posed for, and learn about the upcoming movie based on Buddy Edgerton’s 2009 book, The Unknown Rockwell. At 2 p.m. meet Melinda Pelham Murphy, who posed for the 1947 Saturday Evening Post cover painting, The Babysitter, and was the daughter of Rockwell’s Vermont photographer, Gene Pelham; and at 3 p.m. meet Dale Zola, who posed for the 1973 painting, Bride to Be, created for the S&H Green Stamps catalogue.

Various Rockwell models will also take part in a panel discussion about their experiences, starting at 3:30 p.m., and sign copies of their prints throughout the day.

Other featured events for the family day include Wiffle ball on the outdoor green at 2 p.m., and holiday-themed art activities held in the Museum classroom and on the outside terrace. Visitors also have the rare opportunity to enjoy early and rare illustrations by both two of America’s all-time favorite narrative artists, Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper; the exhibition The Unknown Hopper: Edward Hopper as Illustrator is currently on view through October 26, 2014. The family event is free for Museum members, or with regular Museum admission.

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