This past Saturday, September 10, was a busy day at Norman Rockwell Museum, as opened our newest exhibition and hosted our fifth annual United States naturalization ceremony.

17 new American citizens became naturalized during this year’s ceremony, held in partnership with Berkshire Immigrant Center. Set against the backdrop on Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings, the candidates took the oath of allegiance, as administered by the Honorable Joan McMenemy, First Justice, Berkshire County Juvenile Court. Other honored guests and speakers included:  Laurie Norton Moffatt, the Museum’s Director/CEO; Luis Chaves, Field Office Director, USCIS, Lawrence Field Office; Hilary Greene, Director, Berkshire Immigrant Center; and Ellen Kennedy, President, Berkshire Community College.  The Dalton, Mass. American Legion Post Color Guard once again presented the colors, and Brooke Mead from the Berkshire Immigrant Center performed the National Anthem and other patriotic songs. This year’s ceremony was made possible with generous support from Berkshire Bank, Helen Bing. Berkshire Community College, Blue Q, and anonymous donors.

 The new citizens, currently residing in the Berkshires, originated from Brazil, Canada, Egypt, El Salvador, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, and United Kingdom. In addition to receiving family memberships to Norman Rockwell Museum, each citizen will be eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

Later that evening, the Museum celebrated the art of politics, with the opening of Presidents, Politics, and the Pen: The Influential Art of Thomas Nast. Award-winning political cartoonist/historian Steve Brodner spoke to a crowd of over 100 visitors, who were treated to his insights in to the work of Thomas Nast (1840-1902), whose own political cartoons had considerable influence over the nation 150 years ago. Additional remarks were provided by The Berkshire Eagle, which has sponsored the exhibition. Live jazz was presented on the Museum’s terrace courtesy of the Jeff Link Trio.

On view through December 4, Presidents, Politics, and the Pen features over 25 editorial cartoons by the “Father of the American Cartoon,” published by Harper’s Weekly between 1864 and 1884, as well as original artworks on loan from Macculloch Hall Historical Museum. Original Harper’s Weekly tear sheets have been donated to the Museum by Stephen Yasinow and Laurie Cormier.


Watch a video of the Naturalization Ceremony!

Presidents, Politics, and the Pen: The Influential Art of Thomas Nast