Stockbridge, MA, February 3, 2016—In celebration of Black History Month, Norman Rockwell Museum has partnered with Google to share artworks and artifacts from its permanent collection that illustrate Norman Rockwell’s dedication to civil rights. Available through the Google Cultural Institute website, “Norman Rockwell In The Age of the Civil Rights Movement” presents Rockwell’s paintings, rarely seen studies, reference photos, and correspondence relating to his important works created during the period; the online exhibition joins over 4000 new items –including 80 exhibits and three expeditions—that document different moments throughout African American history.
Norman Rockwell Museum’s Director of Digital Engagement and Learning, Rich Bradway notes that “most people view Norman Rockwell as synonymous with American ideals, yet few are aware of his later career shift to illustrate human rights issues. By collaborating with Google Cultural Institute, we are able to reach millions more than visit us here in Stockbridge, to show how Rockwell’s imagery influenced a national dialogue that remains relevant 50 years later.”
Together with the Museum’s curatorial staff, Bradway compiled 50 digital resources related to the project. Three notable Rockwell Civil Rights era works are featured: “The Problem We All Live With” (1964), “Murder in Mississippi” (1965), and “New Kids in the Neighborhood” (1967), all created for “Look” magazine, after Rockwell ended his 40-year relationship with “The Saturday Evening Post.” Studies and photographic reference materials related to the works are included, detailing the artist’s meticulous process; personal letters to Rockwell about these paintings were selected from the Museum’s vast archive of correspondence and ephemera.
“The Google Cultural Institute supports Norman Rockwell Museum’s goal of making broad public access to our collections and related content to audiences around the globe,” adds Museum Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Stephanie Plunkett. “We are pleased to participate in this expansive effort, and look forward to the responses of new viewers who encounter Rockwell’s art online.”
Norman Rockwell Museum previously partnered with Google in 2012, as one of the newest collaborators on Google Art Project, the company’s online art database; and again in 2013, when its curators took part in a live Google Art Talk looking at Norman Rockwell’s artistic inspirations. Attracting a worldwide audience, both projects have been archived and can be viewed at: www.google.com/culturalinstitute/project/art-project
About Google Cultural Institute
From the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra to the historical records of Frederick Douglass and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Google Cultural Institute’s new Black History, Arts and Culture collection includes 26 new institutions (50 overall) contributing over 5,000 items and more than 80 curated exhibits. It includes new Street View imagery and three Google Expeditions, including an exploration of the resurgence of Jazz in New Orleans with Irvin Mayfield and Soledad O’Brien. View the collection at: www.google.com/culturalinstitute/project/black-history-and-culture
Currently on view at Norman Rockwell Museum
In addition to the painting “New Kids in the Neighborhood,” Norman Rockwell Museum is currently displaying two loaned, rarely viewed original studies related to “The Problem We All Live With,” as the well original dress worn by the painting’s model Lynda Gunn. Part of the Museum’s permanent collection, “The Problem We All Live With” and “Murder in Mississippi” are currently on view in the Museum’s traveling exhibition, “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell.”