Photo of Jarvis Rockwell creating thread installation, c. 1975. Photo by Clemens Kalischer. All rights reserved.

Photo of Jarvis Rockwell creating thread installation, c. 1975. Photo by Clemens Kalischer. All rights reserved.

Stockbridge, MA, August 9, 2013—In conjunction with its new exhibition, “Jarvis Rockwell: Maya, Illusion, and Us;” Norman Rockwell Museum will present an evening with the artist on Thursday, August 15, starting at 5:30 p.m. The son of famed illustrator Norman Rockwell, Jarvis Rockwell will discuss his 60-year career creating diverse and imaginative works, and offer a personal tour of his exhibition on view. The evening talk is free for Museum members, or with regular Museum admission.

On view through October 20, 2013
Jarvis Rockwell: Maya, Illusion, and Us

A singular and visionary image-maker, Jarvis Rockwell, the eldest son of illustrator Norman Rockwell, has forged a path in art that is uniquely his own. “Jarvis Rockwell: Maya, Illusion and Us” reveals the depth and evolution of the artist’s work—from the early portraits and drawings of his youth, to more recent structural works and assemblages. The retrospective includes a documentary on the artist by filmmaker Rachel Victor; and selections from Rockwell’s extensive toy collection, installed on “Maya V,” a vast, whimsical pyramid inspired by Hindu temples and sculptural deities.


About The Artist

For Jarvis Rockwell (born 1932), art has always been integral to life. His father was the nation’s most prominent illustrator, and his mother, Mary Barstow Rockwell, enjoyed drawing, painting, and experimenting with sculpture. At an early age, he began to draw, encouraged by both his parents. Sketching portraits of neighbors and friends in Arlington, Vermont, and taking classes at New York’s Art Students League and National Academy of Design, prepared him for the art assignments he would assume during the Korean War. He went on to study at the Boston Museum School and Los Angeles County Art Institute and has continued his artistic explorations ever since.

His work has been included in several exhibitions, including MASS MoCA and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

Rockwell began collecting action figures in 1979 and since then his collection has grown by hundreds of pieces per year. The artist finds fascination in mass-produced toys for their diversity of design, the fictional narratives that are established by their random intersections, and by the stories these icons of popular culture have to tell. After a decade of collecting, Rockwell began to create small groupings, articulating the relationships he saw between the figures, and arrange his tableaux in Plexiglas boxes. In 2001 the artist expanded on the concept with “Maya,” a vast toy-embellished pyramid inspired by Hindu temples the artist witnessed during trips to Chennai and Delhi, India. This work “tells the story of us” through the artifacts of commercial culture, reminding us of the society’s deepest longings and aspirations.

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