Norman Rockwell Museum has lost a dear friend with the passing of Ann Fitzpatrick Brown, a long-time trustee and supporter of the Museum. Ann was a member of an entrepreneurial Fitzpatrick family, early founders and life-long patrons of Norman Rockwell Museum, involved in mail order, retail, and hospitality businesses, which included The Red Lion Inn, Blantyre and Country Curtains, based in Stockbridge, MA.
The Fitzpatricks were close friends with Norman and Molly Rockwell, as family friends and active community members. They cherished their experiences as models for several of the artist’s works (several photos currently on view at the Stockbridge Town Hall) and Ann especially, treasured her own set of photographs, reproduced from the Museum’s archives, of the modeling sessions with Norman Rockwell. Ann’s mother Jane was a founding trustee of the “Old Corner House” which became the Norman Rockwell Museum. Her father and former state senator, John H. “Jack” Fitzpatrick was an avid Rockwell collector. Jane and Jack, together with their daughters Ann and Nancy, were instrumental in fulfilling the vision of this museum to preserve Rockwell’s legacy, imbued with the warmth, welcoming hospitality and humor that were their hallmarks.
Ann served as a trustee of Norman Rockwell Museum from 1998-2008, deputy clerk from 2007-2008, and as Trustee Emerita since June 2014, and her contributions to the Museum over the years were lasting and meaningful. Ann’s innate design aesthetic brought numerous improvements to historic Linwood House, the 1859 Berkshire “cottage” on the Museum’s grounds. She spearheaded the planning for the Museum’s 40th Anniversary. Together with her family, they donated an important original Rockwell painting “The Cobbler”, as well as sponsoring “Kids Free” at the Museum for several years. Over many years, Country Curtains has provided business development guidance to the Museum’s store. Ann’s son Alexander, continues his family’s leadership with the Museum as a trustee.
In 1981 Ann with her parents Jane and Jack, reopened Blantyre, an historic estate in nearby Lenox, after extensive renovation. Blantyre, a relais & chateau property, achieved the hospitality vision of the Fitzpatrick family—a beautiful country house, recognized as one of the finest hotels in the world, where guests could come and stay and experience the life and service of a bygone era. Always generous, Ann hosted several Museum events at Blantyre and was personally involved in seeing that every detail was perfect.
“Ann cherished and supported her Berkshire community; her hospitality and generosity were truly world-renowned and appreciated by anyone who met her. She will be dearly missed. We send our condolences to her family and friends.”
Laurie Norton Moffatt
Director/CEO, Norman Rockwell Museum
“Interview with the Owner of Blantyre, Ann Fitzpatrick Brown,” Luxury Travel Magazine, May 30, 2010