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: 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 Distant Lands: Literary Fiction in the Classroom

By | January 23rd, 2018|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Norman Rockwell Museum will present Distant Lands: Literary Fiction in the Classroom, a symposium for educators, on Saturday, January 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Educators are invited to learn about creative approaches to bringing literary fiction into the classroom for elementary and middle school students during this day of lectures, workshops, and readings. Award-winning illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi and Newbery Honor author Holly Black will discuss their collaboration on the popular book series, The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Norman Rockwell Museum Presents “Gloria Stoll Karn: Pulp Romance”

By | January 9th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|Tags: , , , , , |

Norman Rockwell Museum presents Gloria Stoll Karn: Pulp Romance, an exhibition of works by Ms. Stoll Karn, one of just a few female illustrators working during the heyday of popular romance and dime store magazines of the 1940s. On view at the Museum from February 10 through June 10, 2018, the exhibition will look at the artistic contributions that Stoll Karn made to the pulp fiction industry, and her unexpected journey in a world previously assigned to male artists.

A Story for Our Time: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms

By | January 5th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Press Release - Current|

On January 6, 1941, 77 years ago tomorrow, President Franklin Roosevelt (pictured above in 1934) proclaimed the need to defend four essential freedoms—Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear—as a reason for the U.S. to enter World War II. Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, a major exhibition organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum and opening at the New-York Historical Society on May 25, 2018, tells the story of how the Four Freedoms, as expressed by Rockwell, brought the country together in defense of universal human rights. It is a story for our time.

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

By | November 27th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Uncategorized|

Berkshire Museum (located in Pittsfield, MA) plans to sell 40 works of art, including two Norman Rockwell paintings, which were originally gifted to the Berkshire Museum directly by Norman Rockwell for the education and enjoyment of the community. Norman Rockwell Museum is not involved with the planned sale.

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