Stockbridge, MA, November 6, 2014—Artist Norman Rockwell’s name has long been synonymous with the holidays—during the Christmas season, the American public has looked forward to his festive images, originally appearing on the covers and pages of their favorite magazines, and on holiday cards that brought the spirit of the holidays home. In celebration of this tradition, Norman Rockwell Museum presents a series of special holiday events and the exhibition, Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays, on view at the Museum from November 22, 2014 through February 8, 2015.
Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays features a selection of the artist’s enduring holiday images, which appealed to viewer’s nostalgia for home, bygone times and a sense of universal good cheer and benevolence. Exhibition highlights include These were the players (1920), an early Rockwell story illustration for the December 1920 issue of St. Nicholas magazine; the Charles Dickens-inspired Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit (1934), which appeared on the December 15, 1934 cover of The Saturday Evening Post; and Home for Christmas (1955), a holiday illustration created for Sheaffer Pen Company, which expressed the artist’s penchant for traditional values and themes. These works and others on view illustrate how Norman Rockwell helped shape and define the holiday season for twentieth-century Americans. The exhibition is sponsored by Christen and Duncan Pollock, and Peter C. Williams.
Also on view at the Museum is Norman Rockwell’s painted tribute to the town where he lived and worked for the past 25 years—Stockbridge Mainstreet at Christmas (Home for Christmas) (1967) is a holiday portrait of the town center, where Rockwell originally held his studio and frequented for both business and pleasure; the landscape painting reportedly took the artist ten years to complete, and holds a prominent place in the main gallery and permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. The iconic work has gone on to inspire an annual holiday event in Stockbridge (December 5 through 7) which is celebrating its 25th year. On Sunday, December 7, witness the town’s annual recreation of Rockwell’s Main Street painting from 12 to 2 p.m., and join Museum staff during the day at Stockbridge’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, for the chance to decorate your own holiday stocking, with all supplies provided. The St. Paul’s Church program is free with Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas weekend admission. For more details, visit stockbridgechamber.org.
Other holiday events at Norman Rockwell Museum include a cookie decorating workshop to be held at the Museum on Saturday, December 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet Santa and enjoy holiday music and special gallery talks about Rockwell’s holiday art. Yankee Magazine’s Assistant Food Editor Aimee Seavey will also join us to share tips and recipes to help with holiday baking and a gingerbread tasting provided by Dancing Deer Baking Co. The magazine is also teaming up with the Museum to offer special giveaways and Yankee Magazine subscriptions with new Museum memberships. The event is free for Museum members, and with general Museum admission.
On Saturday, December 27, enjoy the holiday lecture, Victorian Holiday: Fashion in the Dickensian Era, starting at the Museum at 5:30 p.m. Explore Norman Rockwell’s holiday paintings, which reflect his love of Dickensian dress, and learn more about the fashions of the time from fashion historian Linda Meyer, the proprietor of Lynda’s Antique Clothing Loft in Adams, MA. Refreshments will be served. The event is free with Museum admission; or $10 for the program only.
Norman Rockwell Museum will also present school vacation week drop-in art workshops, inspired by Rockwell’s love of the Dickensian era, from Saturday, December 27 through Friday, January 2 (closed January 1), from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families can enjoy art making, tours, readings, and music in the galleries by the talented performers of the Berkshire Community Music School. The weeklong programs are free with Museum admission.