What people are saying about We The Peoples: Norman Rockwells United Nations

“Rockwell’s United Nations, as the UN itself, remains an unfinished work.”
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, -USA Today
“The work, which Rockwell never turned into a painting, will be exhibited for the first time outside its home…”
-New York Times
“This unique exhibition bridges the local and the global.”
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, -Boston Globe
“Norman Rockwell was there — in more ways than one…”
-Berkshire Eagle

Exhibition

“We the Peoples: Norman Rockwell’s United Nations“, is a historic exhibition and collaboration between the United Nations, United Nations Foundation and Norman Rockwell Museum. The exhibition was made possible by support from the United Nations Foundation.

This special exhibition honoring the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations brings together Norman Rockwell’s original United Nations drawing, his Golden Rule painting, and a collection of works that reflect his appreciation for humanity as a citizen of the world.The artist’s creative process is explored from first idea to finished art through Rockwell’s sketches, color studies, and hand-written notes for his United Nations and Golden Rule images. In addition, a selection of reference photographs featuring United Nations Security Council members and staff, and models posing in his Arlington, Vermont studio, offer insights into the extensive process that Rockwell undertook to hone his vision. An avid traveler, Rockwell visited many countries throughout the world, on assignment and for enjoyment. Other exhibition highlights include a colorful series of travel paintings featuring spontaneous oil portraits of the people of India and Russia; drawings from the artist’s sketchbook created on worldwide tour for a Pan American Airlines advertising campaign; and paintings documenting the work of Peace Corps volunteers in India and Colombia, created for Look magazine in 1966. These, and other iconic images of the civil rights era, reflect Rockwell’s idealism and hopeful outlook for the future.

Norman Rockwell’s United Nations Drawing

In 1952, at the height of the cold war and two years into the Korean War, Rockwell conceived an image of the United Nations as the world’s hope for the future. His appreciation for the organization and its mission inspired a complex work portraying members of the Security Council and 65 people representing the nations of the world—a study for an artwork that he originally intended to complete in painted form. Researched and developed to the final drawing stage, the artist’s United Nations never actually made it to canvas. This detailed charcoal and pencil drawing is being shown outside of Stockbridge, Massachusetts for the first time, presenting a rare opportunity to experience Rockwell’s art in its original form.

Norman Rockwell’s Golden Rule

Norman Rockwell’s desire to reach out to a global community and emphasize the commonality of mankind found its forum on the cover ofThe Saturday Evening Post with his masterful work, Golden Rule, in 1961. This painting later served as the inspiration for the stunning glass mosaic that was presented to the United Nations in 1985 as a 40th anniversary gift on behalf of the United states by then First Lady Nancy Reagan, made possible by the Thanks-Giving Square Foundation.

Artwork from Rockwell’s Travels

Rockwell’s Sketches During His Travels

Reference Photos for Rockwell’s Golden Rule

About Norman Rockwell

Born in New York City in 1894, Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. At the age of fourteen, Rockwell enrolled in art classes at the New York School of Art (formerly the Chase School of Art). In 1910, at the age of 16, he left high school to study art at the National Academy of Design. He soon transferred to the Art Students League, where he studied with Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgman. Fogarty’s instruction in illustration prepared Rockwell for his first commercial commissions. From Bridgman, Rockwell learned the technical skills on which he relied throughout his long career.

Rockwell found success early. He painted his first commission of four Christmas cards before his sixteenth birthday. While still in his teens, he was hired as art director of Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, and began a successful freelance career illustrating a variety of young people’s publications.

About the UN

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding Charter, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 193 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.

The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an opportunity to reflect – to look back on the UN’s history and take stock of its enduring achievements. It is also an opportunity to spotlight where the UN – and the international community as a whole – needs to redouble its efforts to meet current and future challenges across the three pillars of its work: peace and security, development, and human rights. -United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
General_Ban_Ki_Moon

The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programmes) affect our lives and make the world a better place. The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.

Visit the United Nations 70th Anniversary website to learn more…

Events

There are no events currently scheduled for this exhibition

Media

As a Norman Rockwell exhibit opens at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson describes the artist’s appreciation for humanity and the Organization’s mission.

An opening ceremony for the exhibition entitled “We the Peoples: Norman Rockwell’s United Nations” will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, 29 June, in the Visitors’ Lobby (gallery B).

Leslie Paisley, Conservator of Paper Department Head at Williamstown Art Conservation Center, takes viewers through the process of treating a fragile work on paper through such means as aqueous water technique– don’t try this at home! Video produced by Jeremy Clowe. ©2009 Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.

Dedication of the Norman Rockwell “Golden Rule” Mosaic at the United Nations by Nancy Reagan (c. 1985)

Norman Rockwell discusses “The Golden Rule”

Excerpt from the short film “Norman Rockwell: American Illustrator”. Used by permission. Norman Rockwell Museum 2015.

Around the World with Norman Rockwell – Promotional Video
Part 1

Promotional video for Pan Am airlines advertising campaign which artist Norman Rockwell worked on during the 1950s. Rockwell had the opportunity to travel around the world on a ‘clipper ship cruise’ to create illustrations for the advertising series. Video ©AeroArt International. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Around the World with Norman Rockwell – Promotional Video
Part 2

Promotional video for Pan Am airlines advertising campaign which artist Norman Rockwell worked on during the 1950s. Rockwell had the opportunity to travel around the world on a ‘clipper ship cruise’ to create illustrations for the advertising series. Video ©AeroArt International. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Media – Photo Gallery

Press

Norman Rockwell’s Soft Power on Display at the U.N.

Wall Street Journal,
August 12, 2015

‘We the Peoples’ exhibit runs through Sept. 15 in honor of the United Nations’ 70th anniversaryOther than causing traffic jams in September, when world leaders descend on the General Assembly, it’s hard to say what impact the United Nations has on the heartbeat of New York City.

I suppose it helps bolster our claim as a cosmopolitan metropolis—indeed as the capital of the world—but the average New Yorker already knew that.

The fact that I can’t remember the last time I visited—it may have been in high school—suggests that its role in the life of the city is less than integral.

However, I’ve been looking for an excuse to go back. While the organization hasn’t solved the world’s problems, you can’t spite it for trying. And my recollection from that long-ago field trip is that the U.N. boasts certain fun idiosyncrasies, such as issuing its own postage stamps.

The opportunity to return arose last week. It was to view a new Norman Rockwell exhibit, “We the Peoples,” a collaboration of the U.N., the United Nations Foundation and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. Running through Sept. 15, it honors the 70th anniversary of the U.N.

While Rockwell may be best known for Saturday Evening Post covers that depict Middle American virtues, the U.N. and its humanitarian mission also attracted his attention.

Read more on WSJ.com…


Norman Rockwell’s Big Worldview

Boston Globe,
June 30, 2015

NORMAN ROCKWELL AND the United Nations may seem like an odd couple.After all, the legendary artist is synonymous with everyday Americana — baseball games, Thanksgiving meals, the ebb and flow of ordinary life.

But as a new exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations makes clear, the small-town artist had a big worldview.

Every so often, Rockwell said he was captivated by a “world-shaking idea.” “Off I go, stretching my neck like a swan,” he said with New England understated wit, “forgetting that I’m a duck.”

Read more on BostonGlobe.com…


United Nations’ Welcomes Norman Rockwell Exhibit In Honor Of UN’s 70th Anniversary

WAMC,
June 30, 2015

A Norman Rockwell exhibit titled “We the Peoples” is now on display at the United Nations’ New York City headquarters. The exhibit honors the UN’s 70th anniversary by bringing together Rockwell’s 1952 charcoal drawing United Nations and his 1961 Golden Rulepainting, on loan from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis spoke with the UN’s Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, of Sweden, who experienced Rockwell’s influence at an early age.Listen to the interview on WAMC…


Norman Rockwell’s art brings UN values to life, says Ban

United Nations News Centre,
June 30, 2015

Opening a special ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Organization is honoured to host a “one-of-a-kind” exhibition of UN-inspired paintings and artwork by legendary American illustrator Norman Rockwell.“We are so honored to now host the original Golden Rule as well as the United Nations drawing for the entire summer of our 70th anniversary year,” Mr. Ban told those gathered at the event yesterday evening.

The exhibition, We The Peoples: Norman Rockwell’s United Nations, runs through 15 September, and is being presented by the Norman Rockwell Museum, located in in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and the UN Department of Public Information.

Read more on UN.org…


‘We the Peoples’ exhibit of iconic artwork by Norman Rockwell set to open at UN Headquarters

United Nations News Centre,
June 29, 2015

Part of an ongoing series of global events marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, a special exhibition is set to open at the world body’s New York Headquarters bringing together legendary artist Norman Rockwell’s original United Nations drawing, hisGolden Rule painting, and a collection of work that reflects his appreciation for humanity and the noble goals of the Organization.The exhibition, We The Peoples: Norman Rockwell’s United Nations, opening Monday 29 June, runs through 15 September, and is being presented by the Norman Rockwell Museum, located in in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and the UN Department of Public Information.

Read more on UN.org…


Norman Rockwell work featured in exhibit to mark UN’s 70th anniversary

Berkshire Eagle,
June 28, 2015

Turns out Norman Rockwell was there — in more ways than one — during the historic period when the United Nations was established.In fact, a drawing he made in 1953 during the agency’s early years to promote internationalism and equality will be featured in an exhibit during a celebration of the U.N.’s 70th anniversary on Monday in New York.

According to Laurie Norton-Moffat, director and CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, the drawing, known as “United Nations,” later inspired Rockwell to create his famous 1961 “The Golden Rule” painting, in which he used many of the same concepts and imagery.

Read more on BerkshireEagle.com…


Norman Rockwell Museum Honors UN’S 70th Anniversary with Exhibition

Art News,
June 26, 2015

In 1952—at the peak of the Cold War, and two years into the Korean War—Norman Rockwell drafted an image of the United Nations, intending to portray the young organization and its Security Council members as a global symbol of hope. United Nations (1953) only reached a final drawing stage, though Rockwell’s similarly-themed 1961 painting Golden Rule was eventually installed as a large mosaic in the UN building. This summer, Stockbridge, Massachusetts’ Norman Rockwell Museum will honor the 70th anniversary of the international organization with an unparalleled Rockwell exhibition at the UN headquarters.Read more on ArtNews.com…


“Like Norman Rockwell’s ‘United Nations,’ the real thing is still an unfinished work…”

USA Today,
June 12, 2015

I first visited the United States as a wide-eyed high school student on an exchange program in 1962. I had never left South Korea — and suddenly I found myself staying in family homes and travelling across America from small towns to the nation’s capital. Our group even met President John F. Kennedy in the White House Rose Garden. The trip felt iconic at every step. I thought I had stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting.Read more on USA Today.com…


The Golden Rule. Restoring the Norman Rockwell Mosaic at the United Nations

The Art Conservator – A Publication of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center,
Summer 2013

Since its arrival at the United Nations in 1985, the Norman Rockwell Mosaic has been an icon of the organization’s New York headquarters. Rockwell’s depiction of the Golden Rule was a favorite of visitors, staff members, and diplomats alike until 2009, when it was removed from view in advance of construction.Read more on The Art Conservator…

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Golden Rule

Venues

There are currently no venues scheduled for this exhibition

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