"Stockbridge Mainstreet at Christmas (Home for Christmas)," 1967.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Stockbridge Mainstreet at Christmas (Home for Christmas)” (detail), 1967. Oil on canvas, 26 ½” x 95 ½”. “McCalls,” December 1967. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.

Stockbridge, MA, November 23, 2015—In celebration of the season, Norman Rockwell Museum will present a number of family-friendly events during the month of December; as well as the exhibition, Norman Rockwell’s Spirit of the Holidays, which features many of the artist’s works that have become synonymous with the holidays.

Many of Rockwell’s depictions of Christmas are inspired by the work of Charles Dickens, which he read as a child with his family. Indeed, Dickens’ impact on Rockwell’s paintings of carolers and revelers is evident in the flourish of the Old English Merrie Christmas (1938) and most obvious in Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit (1934). In addition to these Christmas covers from The Saturday Evening Post and other periodicals of the day, family gatherings were forever frozen in time in the artist’s many advertisements and Hallmark greeting cards. On view through January 8, 2016, Norman Rockwell’s Spirit of the Holidays shows how the artist’s paintings and drawings inspired feelings of warmth and good cheer for generations to come; the exhibition is sponsored by Duncan and Christen Pollock.

Included in the exhibition, Rockwell’s 1967 painting, Stockbridge Mainstreet at Christmas (Home for Christmas) has come to represent the epitome of the “quintessential New England town.” The first weekend in December marks the 26th anniversary of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas celebration in Norman Rockwell’s hometown; sponsored by the Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce, the town recreates Rockwell’s holiday painting, and presents a full range of holiday-related events from December 4 through 6. Join representatives from Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge’s St. Paul’s Church on Sunday, December 6, from 12 to 2 p.m., for Santa’s Workshop, offering visitors a chance to create and decorate holiday hats and ornaments. The event is free with Stockbridge at Christmas admission.

Contemporary illustrator Marc Rosenthal joins us at the Museum on Saturday, December 5, from 1 to 4 p.m., to present his new interactive children’s book, Big Bot, Small Bot: A Book of Robot Opposites. Meet Marc’s group of friendly, retro-futuristic robots, who demonstrate counting, opposites, shapes, and colors in transforming, lift-the-flap illustrations. After Marc’s talk, visitors will be invited to create their own lift-the-flap books; an artist book signing will follow.

On Sunday, December 6, enjoy an in-depth look at Rockwell’s Stockbridge Mainstreet at Christmas painting, currently on view. The talk begins at 3 p.m., and discounted admission is available with a Stockbridge at Christmas Weekend button. The Museum’s Stockbridge Mainstreet at Christmas train set will also be on view through the holiday season.

The Museum’s Drawing in the Galleries series continues on Saturday, December 12, from 2 to 4 p.m., as illustrator/educator Pat O’Donnell demonstrates how the artistic techniques used on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post remain relevant for illustrators today. Watch a working artist in action, and create a drawing of your own.

Finally, unwind after the holidays with the Museum’s Drop In On Art! Workshops, to be held Monday, December 28 through Saturday, January 2 (closed on January 1), from 1 to 4 p.m. Take inspiration from the illustration art on view, to invent your own story lines, and design characters, plots, and settings during this series of art workshops for children of all ages.

All events are free for Museum members, or with regular admission, except where noted. For more details, contact the Museum at 413.931.2221, or visit us online at www.nrm.org.