Last Thursday, February 25, representatives from Norman Rockwell Museum joined students from Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School at New York’s City Hall for a special ceremony recognizing their efforts to rename the street where Norman Rockwell grew up, in the artist’s honor. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation into law to co-name 39 new and amend 3 previously co-named thoroughfares and public spaces, including “Norman Rockwell Place.”
The students, lead by educator René Mills, started working on the effort back in November 2014. In addition to visiting Norman Rockwell Museum over the past couple years for education and assistance on the artist, they created petitions and went in front of legislators with their proposal to rename Rockwell’s childhood home, located literally around the corner from their school. The proposal was finally voted on and passed by New York City Council, with the support of Council Member Mark Levine.
“We greatly appreciation Mayor de Blasio’s generous recognition of Norman Rockwell’s New York roots and ongoing engagement with the City,” remarked Norman Rockwell Museum Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Stephanie Plunkett. “Born on the upper west side, he attended the Art Students League and returned to New York frequently – even keeping studios in Brooklyn and Manhattan at different points in his career. We know that he would be honored to be remembered in his “hometown” in this special way.”
In recognition of the students’ tremendous effort and engagement with the political process, the Museum in partnership with edBridge Partners, an education consultancy, is presenting each student with a family membership to Norman Rockwell Museum, which offers reciprocal privileges to more than 650 museums throughout North America.
A street-renaming ceremony in New York City, during which the new street sign will be affixed, will take place on June 9, 2016.
View the Ceremony:
“An Urban Recognition Of Artist Norman Rockwell,” February 24, 2016, New England Public Radio
“New York street corner featuring Norman Rockwell’s home renamed after artist, thanks to students,” Berkshire Eagle, February 25, 2016
“Artist Of Small-Town America, Recognized By Native NYC,” WAMC News, February 26, 2016