Norman Rockwell Museum Celebrates a Century of Norman Rockwell Exhibitions with European Debut

“American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell” Opens November 11 in Rome, Italy

Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt with Norman Rockwell's son/sculptor Peter Rockwell, and grandson Tom Rockwell in Rome, Italy, November 2014.

Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt with Norman Rockwell’s son/sculptor Peter Rockwell, and grandson Tom Rockwell in Rome, Italy, November 2014. Photo (c) Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.

Stockbridge, MA, November 10, 2014— In May of 1914, a young Norman Rockwell entered artwork in his first exhibition: a group show at the New Rochelle Public Library in New Rochelle, New York. He was 20 years old.

One hundred years later, a traveling exhibition of some of Rockwell’s most iconic original works is making its European debut. Organized by Norman Rockwell Museum, American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell will be on view at the Fondazione Roma-Arte-Musei in Rome, Italy, from November 11, 2014 through February 8, 2015. American Chronicles has been traveling across America for seven years, garnering record audiences wherever it has opened; Rome is its only trans-Atlantic venue.

“This year, Norman Rockwell Museum celebrates its 45th anniversary, and our outreach has never been greater as we strive to meet the public demand for Rockwell’s work,” says Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt, who spoke to members of the press this morning at the Fondazione’s media preview. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to share these extraordinary works from our collection for the first time in Italy—a milestone for the Museum, and a befitting way to mark 100 years of exhibitions.”   

Norman Rockwell’s son Peter Rockwell (a sculptor, who lives in Italy) and his grandson Tom also attended the media event in Rome, and joined Ms. Moffatt at the November 10th exhibition opening reception.

The Museum also has partnered with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism to promote visitation to the U.S. and Massachusetts to visitors at the Fondazione Roma Musei. Representatives from the state agency and Italy’s top tour companies participated in the opening festivities to preview this important American art exhibit.

From very modest beginnings a century ago, with an exhibition in 1914 at the New Rochelle Public Library, to Russia and Egypt 50 years later, to Rome today, the art of Norman Rockwell has been on view at over 200 venues.  A full chronology of Norman Rockwell exhibitions from the past century can be viewed on Norman Rockwell Museum’s website.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Triple Self-Portrait," 1959

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Triple Self-Portrait,” 1959. Oil on canvas, 44 1/2″ x 34 1/3″. Cover illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” February 13, 1960. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

About “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) painted the best of America, creating indelible images of the lives, hopes, and dreams of Americans in the 20th century. Expertly weaving both narrative and painterly images, he was a consummate visual storyteller with a finely honed sense of what made an image successful in the new, rapidly changing era of mass media. Rockwell’s unique artistic legacy, established during 65 years of painting, offers a personal chronicle of 20th century life and aspirations that has both reflected and profoundly influenced American perceptions and ideals.  

American Chronicles traces the evolution of Rockwell’s art and iconography throughout his career−from carefully choreographed reflections on childhood innocence in such paintings as No Swimming (1921) and Girl at Mirror (1954) to powerful, consciousness-raising images like The Problem We All Live With (1964) and Murder in Mississippi (1965), which documented the traumatic realities of desegregation in the South. Commentary focusing on recurring personal themes, artistic and cultural influences, and the commercial climate that influenced Rockwell’s creative process will be woven throughout the exhibition.

All of the original works on view in American Chronicles are drawn from the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum, including such beloved and well-known images as Triple Self-Portrait (1960), The Runaway (1958), Going and Coming (1947), and Art Critic (1955). The exhibition will include materials from the Museum’s archives demonstrating how Rockwell worked, proceeding from preliminary sketches, photographs, color studies, and detailed drawings to the finished painting. A complete set of all 323 of Rockwell’s covers for The Saturday Evening Post are also included in the exhibition. Rockwell’s work for the Post spanned a remarkable 47 years, and the artist became a household name in the process.

Exhibited at 15 different museums across North America over the past six years, American Chronicles has been viewed by over one million people, setting record attendance at several of the participating venues.

 Following its display in Rome, American Chronicles returns to the United States, with exhibitions planned for: Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida, March 6, 2015 through May 31, 2015; Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah, November 19, 2015 through February 13, 2016; and Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia, March 18, 2016 through May 22, 2016.

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell has been generously supported by National Endowment for the Arts; Curtis Licensing, a division of The Saturday Evening Post; the Norman Rockwell Family Agency, and the Stockman Family Foundation Trust.

To learn more about the exhibition, click here

Visit Italy’s Fondazione Roma-Arte-Musei

View our list of 100 years of Norman Rockwell exhibitions

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