Norman Rockwell Museum To Present Talk on Diversity, Perception, and Responsibility in Illustration

Stockbridge, MA, July 1, 2016—Inspired by its newest exhibition, Rockwell and Realism in the Abstract World, Norman Rockwell Museum will present the talk “Diversity, Perception, and Responsibility in Illustration” on Thursday, July 7, starting at 5:30 p.m. Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Associate Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Delaware, will examine blatant, subtle, or perceived racial stereotypes created by illustrators, sanctioned by art directors and publishers, and how they have shaped America’s perception of race for over four centuries. Ms. Phillips-Pendleton is also an artist for the United States Air Force Art Program, and has created her own illustrations for magazines, books, and educational institutions. The talk is sponsored by Berkshire Magazine, and is being presented as part of the Museum’s “Real or Imagined? Adventures in Visual Culture” lecture and performance series, to be held Thursday evenings starting at 5:30 p.m. through the month of August.

The events are free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission.

Reservations are suggested by contacting the Museum at 413.931.2221 or

Robyn Phillips-Pendleton.
Photo courtesy: University of Delaware

Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World
On view through October 30, 2016

In post-World War II America, the primacy of abstract art was clearly acknowledged, and by 1961, when Rockwell painted The Connoisseur, Abstract Expressionism had been covered in the popular press for nearly 15 years. Originated in the 1940s by Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, among others, Abstract Expressionism was the first American movement to achieve widespread international influence.

For the first time, Norman Rockwell Museum will explore the contrast between the abstract and realist movements, placing works by Rockwell, Wyeth, and Warhol side by side with Pollock, Calder, Johns, and over 40 other preeminent artists. Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World examines the forces that forged the mid-century dismissal of narrative painting and illustration, as well as the resurgence of realist painting during the latter half of the twentieth century, its presence and critical consideration today, and the ways in which our contemporary viewpoints have been shaped by post World War II constructs.

The exhibition features the art of prominent illustrators, painters, and sculptors whose autographic art spans more than 60 years, representing many dynamic forms of visual communication. Featured artists include: Marshall Arisman, Bo Bartlett, Austin Briggs, Alexander Calder, Alan E. Cober, Robert Cottingham, Robert Cunningham, Joe De Mers, Walton Ford, Eric Forstmann, Helen Frankenthaler, Bernie Fuchs, Sam Francis, Edwin Georgi, George Giusti, Ralph Goings, Cleve Grey, Brad Holland, Dan Howe, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Anita Kunz, Jacqui Morgan, Robert Motherwell, Barbara Nessim, Barnett Newman, Tim O’Brien, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, Al Parker, Bob Peak, Philip Pearlstein, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Norman Rockwell, Peter Rockwell, James Rosenquist, David Salle, Saul Steinberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Robert Weaver, Thomas Woodruff, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth. The exhibition is sponsored by TD Bank.