Susan LeRoy Merrill

Photo of Susan LeRoy Merrill. Courtesy: Daisy Rockwell.

Susan LeRoy Merrill
June 4, 1942 – October 24, 2017

I share with you the passing of Susan LeRoy Merrill, artist, author, vibrant spirit, and mother of trustee Daisy Rockwell. Susan is also survived and cherished by beloved husband Carl Sprague, son Ruslan and daughter Elena, son-in-law, Aaron, granddaughter Serafina, and Rockwell family members. Susan taught us so very much about living, with joy and panache, about dying with dignity and gratitude for a life fully lived, and about letting go with grace. She created her last days this summer as she wished to live, painting, surrounded by friends, family and her beloved Corgis. Her art brought much joy and taught us to look at the natural world around us, the world of animals, and even bugs! Her children’s book, I Live in Stockbridge, still available through the Museum, is a personal walk through a town she loved and where she raised her family. There are many chapters to share about Susan’s life, but none is more beautiful than the eulogy her daughter Daisy wrote below. Our hearts go out to Daisy, Carl, all of Susan’s family and many friends.

~ Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO, Norman Rockwell Museum

 

Susan Merrill,

Susan Merrill, “The Swing.” 38.5″ x 27.5″. Acrylic on canvas. ©Susan Merrill.

“When my mother called me in early June and told me she’d been diagnosed with a glioblastoma and only had three months to live, she immediately launched into a description of her plans for her remaining days: most notably, she must complete a series of 12 small paintings of bugs beneficial to gardeners before she died. The tumor had started in the communication section of her brain, but did not affect her ability to paint until the end, and she was able to complete her paintings in record time. As her usual exceptional communication abilities began to deteriorate over the summer, she taught us many precious lessons about embracing life and accepting death. It was a summer of charades, drawings, diagrams and laughter over the amazing-sounding unrecognizable words and sounds that came out of her mouth. Only at the end, when she could no longer write or draw, and nearly all her words were unrecognizable, did she show signs of frustration and sadness. The end came mercifully swiftly, and she died last night in her favorite room of her favorite house, surrounded by beloved humans and corgis in a shower of Bach by a roaring fire. We will all carry with us her color, her humor, her word play and her way of re-inventing the world through the power of creative imagination.

Some of her paintings and prints of her bug series are available at her Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/SusanMerrillPainting. Funds raised will help defray medical and other costs accumulated by her household during this difficult period.” ~ Daisy Rockwell

Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning

By | April 1st, 2017|Categories: Past Exhibition, Past Exhibitions|Tags: , , , , |

Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning is the first museum exhibition on the world’s most successful animation partnership.

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Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt, and the Four Freedoms

By | February 1st, 2017|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current, Upcoming Exhibitions|

Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms is the first comprehensive traveling exhibition devoted to Norman Rockwell’s iconic depictions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.

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Hanna-Barbera: Toon-ament of Champions!

By | November 7th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

A Champion has been crowned!
Congratulations to Scooby-Doo! After a 31-day competition, Scooby was the clear winner against 31 of his peers! Make sure to visit our exhibition HANNA-BARBERA: The Architects of Saturday Morning to see Scooby and the entire cast of characters!

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Norman Rockwell Museum Presents A Day in the Life of a Girl and Boy Family Day

By | November 10th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Norman Rockwell Museum will present a special Thanksgiving weekend family day on Saturday, November 25, from 1 to 4 p.m. in celebration of two new books for young readers, "Norman Rockwell’s A Day in the Life of a Girl" and "Norman Rockwell’s A Day in the Life of a Boy."

Norman Rockwell Museum Presents “Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi”

By | November 2nd, 2017|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|

The Norman Rockwell Museum announces Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi, an exhibition of works by the #1 New York Times bestselling author/illustrator that will be on view at the Museum from November 11, 2017 through May 28, 2018.

In Memoriam: Susan LeRoy Merrill

By | October 26th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

I share with you the passing of Susan LeRoy Merrill, artist, author, vibrant spirit, and mother of trustee Daisy Rockwell. Susan is also survived and cherished by son Ruslan and daughter Elena, beloved husband Carl Sprague, son-in-law Aaron, granddaughter Serafina, and Rockwell family members.

FAQs regarding the Berkshire Museum’s proposed sale of two paintings by Norman Rockwell

By | October 20th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Uncategorized|

An important community and national dialogue about museum and collection stewardship is unfolding in the cultural Berkshires in western Massachusetts regarding The Berkshire Museum’s planned sale of 40 important artworks from its permanent collection.

Norman Rockwell Museum To Present Evening of Poetry To Honor Memory of Poet/Author Michelle Gillett

By | October 5th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|Tags: , , , |

Norman Rockwell Museum will present an evening of poetry to honor the memory of Berkshire poet and author Michelle Gillett on Saturday, October 28, starting at 5:30 p.m. A gifted writer and friend to the local arts community, Ms. Gillett’s books of poetry and prose continue to bring joy.

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