Norman Rockwell Museum Presents “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning”

Stockbridge, MA, August 17, 2016—Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the imprint of Hanna-Barbera. Creating scores of popular series such asThe Yogi Bear ShowThe FlintstonesThe JetsonsJonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse and its bountiful creativity is beloved to this day. Norman Rockwell Museum will pay tribute to the art of the award-winning studio with the new exhibition Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning, on view November 12, 2016 through May 29, 2017.

“We are thrilled to present the first museum exhibition on the work of Hanna-Barbera,” notes Jesse Kowalski, the Museum’s Curator of Exhibitions. “This show will provide a comprehensive look into the animation team that collaborated for more than 60 years.  William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with a group of the most gifted animators and writers in the business, created thousands of memorable characters over the years. They brought animation from the movie theater into the home, forever changing the landscape of American television and popular culture.”

“This exhibition continues our look at visual storytelling in its many forms,” adds Museum Chief Curator Stephanie Haboush Plunkett. “Illustration and cartoons are the people’s art, and we look forward to further exploring their creatively-rich history.”

Jayne Barbera, daughter of Joseph Barbera and long-time producer at Hanna-Barbera, notes, “I worked for Hanna-Barbera Productions for thirty years alongside these two gentlemen.  To be in a room with both of them at the same time was to experience an extraordinary genius.  We were able to create happiness, adventure, and joy in the process of entertaining children.”

Hanna Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning will focus primarily on the golden years of the studio—from the premiere of their first cartoon, The Ruff and Reddy Show, in 1957 and The Huckleberry Hound Show in 1958 to the debut of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969. Hanna and Barbera’s early work on Tom and Jerry will be explored, in addition to the scores of TV and film animation and live-action projects created by the studio between 1970 and 2001. Included within the exhibition will be original animation art, sketches, model sheets, photographs, and archival materials that detail the process of bringing the studio’s creations to life. Also included in the exhibition, Hanna-Barbera-related toys and other commercial products, and an interactive installation that will draw from the vast library of sound effects created by the studio. An exhibition video, produced by Norman Rockwell Museum, will include commentary from original Hanna-Barbera animators Tony Benedict, Jerry Eisenberg, Willie Ito, and Bob Singer. An exhibition catalogue will include a foreword by Jayne Barbera, daughter of studio founder Joe Barbera, and essays by animation historians Jerry Beck and Michael Mallory.

Hanna Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning was developed in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and has been sponsored, in part, by Keator Group, LLC.

Hanna-Barbera Productions was formed in 1957 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, two successful animators from MGM Studios. As a result of their work on the Tom and Jerry animated film shorts, MGM received seven Academy Awards for animation. Hanna and Barbera left MGM when the studio stopped production on animated films. Capitalizing on the changing viewing habits of audiences, the partners achieved immediate success on TV with The Huckleberry Hound Show and Yogi Bear in 1958, followed by the groundbreaking prime-time series, The Flintstones, in 1960. Throughout the next 30 years, Hanna-Barbera produced over 200 individual cartoon series for television. Eventually absorbed by Warner Bros., the studio’s animation legacy remains available in syndication and on DVD, and its impact on popular culture can be seen in everything from Fred Flintstone hawking vitamins and Fruity Pebbles cereal, to comic books and live-action movies featuring such characters as Scooby-Doo.

December School Vacation Week Drop-In Art Programs
Cartooning and Animation with Illustrator Scott Lincoln
Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30
1 to 5 p.m.

Bring out the cartoonist in you! Enjoy this fun-filled week of drop-in art activities and demonstrations inspired by our special exhibition, The Architects of Saturday Morning: The Art of Hanna-Barbera. Develop your own story lines by learning the techniques of character design, storyboarding, and sequential imagemaking by using words and pictures to create visual narratives. Educator, cartoonist, and animator Scott Lincoln is the creator of Ralf the Destroyer, a long-running cartoon strip, and has taught aspiring artists at the Guy Gilchrist Cartoon Academy. Free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission.

Saturday Morning Cartoons
Scooby-Doo and Friends! A Saturday Morning Animation Series
Saturdays, January 14, and February 11
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Spend these fun-filled mornings watching Hanna-Barbera’s classic animated cartoons with favorite characters from Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and other program favorites. A healthy continental breakfast will be served. Free with Museum admission. Cartoon programs only, $5. Sponsored by Guido’s Fresh Marketplace.

Cartoon Conversations
Hanna-Barbera and the Golden Age of Television Animation
Saturdays, January 14, and February 11
2 p.m.

Step back in time to explore the Golden Age of the animated Saturday morning cartoon with Curator of Exhibitions, Jesse Kowalski. These insightful conversations will illuminate aspects of our current exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning, including: Full Animation VS. Limited Animation: How Are They Different? (January 14); Television Sit-Coms as Inspiration for Animated Programs(February 11). Free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission. Program only, $10.

Sidekicks and Storylines: The World of Hanna-Barbera
Monday, February 20 through Saturday, February 25
1 to 5 p.m.

Enjoy this fun-filled week of drop-in art activities and demonstrations inspired by our special exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning. Develop your own sidekick and storylines inspired by the works on view led by Education and Outreach Manager, and illustrator/game designer, Patrick O’Donnell. Free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission.