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, Current Exhibitions, Exhibition, Press Release - Current, Rockwell on Museum Tour|

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 Maxfield Parrish: Machinist, Artisan, Artist

By | July 13th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|Tags: , , |

Norman Rockwell Museum Presents Maxfield Parrish: Machinist, Artisan, Artist For further information:   Jeremy Clowe Manager of Media Services Norman Rockwell Museum [...]

Norman Rockwell Museum Honors the Centennial of World War I

By | July 13th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|Tags: , , |

Norman Rockwell Museum will honor the heroism and sacrifice of those who served in World War I, on Saturday, July 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. This special event will explore the experiences of those affected by the war through poetry, performance, and Rockwell’s art.

Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell & The Narrative Tradition – Opening Event

By | July 3rd, 2018|Categories: Special Events|

OPENING EVENT - Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell & The Narrative Tradition Online ticketing is no longer available.  Tickets can be purchased at [...]

Illustration History Blog: Children’s Book Illustrators and the Golden Age of Illustration

By | June 29th, 2018|Categories: Blog|

A common misconception is the idea that the Victorians invented childhood. Though there were obviously children running around and playing for innumerable generations before the 19th century, the concept of “childhood” was nowhere near as prevalent or as closely observed as it was by the Victorians. Children throughout history were often participating members of the household, assisting with daily chores which were commonly more labor intensive than making the bed or loading the dishwasher, in comparison with today.

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Award-Winning Artist and Illustrator Wendell Minor Named Artist Laureate for 2018

By | June 22nd, 2018|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|

Renowned artist and illustrator Wendell Minor has been named Artist Laureate for 2018/2019 by the Norman Rockwell Museum. Established in 2008, the Museum’s Artist Laureate Award honors the contributions of outstanding visual artists whose exceptional dedication to the Museum and its mission have guided and advanced the work of the institution

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