FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 22, 2018
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Ellen Swan Mazzer
Award-Winning Artist and Illustrator Wendell Minor Named Artist Laureate for 2018/2019
by Norman Rockwell Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum’s Highest Honor Goes to Preeminent Artist and Illustrator in Recognition of Lifetime Achievement
(Stockbridge, MA, June 22, 2018)— 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. The biannual award fosters an understanding and appreciation of the art of Norman Rockwell, the art of illustration, and the Norman Rockwell Museum’s continued leadership in the vanguard of preservation and interpretation of this important aspect of American visual culture. Former Artist Laureates include Barbara Nessim (2008–10), David Macaulay (2011–13), the late Murray Tinkelman (2014–16), and Jerry Pinkney (2016–2018).
“The Artist Laureate is Norman Rockwell Museum’s highest honor, and I’m thrilled that Wendell Minor will be serving this important role,” said Laurie Norton Moffatt, Norman Rockwell Museum Director and CEO. “The Award is bestowed upon an illustrator of lifetime distinction who has shaped the field of illustration and significantly advanced the mission of the Norman Rockwell Museum.”
Historian David McCullough, whose book covers have been exclusively illustrated by Minor, noted, “The award commemorates the fifty-year career of one of the preeminent American illustrators who has been inspired by a love of history, art, science, and the natural world. He is a storyteller as much as any writer. And that’s part of the reason why his work is so captivating. Wendell’s work is about life, about human beings, and that’s the essence of story.”
As Artist Laureate, Minor will carry-on the Museum’s Student Passport Program which was initiated two years ago with the involvement of Artist Laureate Jerry Pinkney, who played a vital role in outreach engagement with Berkshire County region schools. Minor shared his excitement for continuing this direct artist-student contact by noting, “For me, there is no higher calling than sharing my love of this country, its natural beauty and its history – with the next generation.”
Minor has created cover illustrations for more than 2,000 works, including most of author David McCullough’s books, and titles by Jean Craighead, Robert Burleigh, Pat Conroy, Toni Morrison, Mary Higgins Clark, James Michener, and others. His portrait of Harry Truman for the cover of David McCullough’s Truman is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC.
Among the awards Minor’s books have garnered are: Cook Prize honoring the best science, technology, engineering and math picture book for children aged eight to ten, Notable Children’s Trade Books in Social Studies, ALA Booklist Children’s Choices, International Reading Association Teacher’s Choices, Parents Choice Foundation “Silver Honor,” Smithsonian’s Notable Books for Children, the John Burroughs List of Nature Books For Young Readers, Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year and Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year.
Wendell Minor’s America, a traveling exhibition organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in 2013, celebrates the artist’s decades-long career as a children’s book illustrator; it is currently on view at the Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich, MA.
About the Norman Rockwell Museum
The nation’s premier organizer of exhibitions dedicated to illustration art, the Norman Rockwell Museum holds the largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to the life and work of American artist Norman Rockwell. The Museum also preserves, interprets, and exhibits a growing collection of art by other noted American illustrators, from historical to contemporary.
Since its inception in 1969, the Museum has explored the impact of illustrated images and their role in shaping and reflecting our world through changing exhibitions, publications, and programs. Dedication to a deepened understanding of the art of illustration, the Museum created the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies in 2008. The first of its kind in the nation, this research institute supports sustained scholarship and establishes the Museum’s leadership in the vanguard of preservation and interpretation relating to this important aspect of American visual culture.
Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts – Rockwell’s hometown for his last 25 years. The Museum is open year-round; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. From May through October, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; from November through April, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Rockwell’s studio is open May through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Museum admission is $20, $18 for seniors, $10 for college students with ID, and free for kids and teens 18 and under, and for Museum members. Visit the Museum online at www.nrm.org.
Additional photos available upon request.