Mr. Rockwell’s Narratives

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How will I be remembered? As a technician or artist? As a humorist or a visionary? ~Norman Rockwell

Last week, my television was tuned in more than usual. I was interested in watching the Pope speak at the various different venues. It was such a privilege for the American people to have someone of his stature visit our country.
Did you see the photo op taken at the United Nations in front of the Norman Rockwell image called “Golden Rule?” The U.N. is a very appropriate place to have the image hanging because it could not be more symbolic of America’s melting pot of citizens.  On All Things Fulfilling we featured a blog about Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” back in September 2013. It was a very well read article. Go back and read it if you missed it.

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On Friday, the same day the Pope appeared at the United Nations, I came across an interesting article from the Berkshire Eagle about the Norman Rockwell Museum. Some changes are about to take place in the way that the artist’s work will be exhibited. The images will be thematically organized to better tell the story of America. It’s a terrific idea in my opinion! If ever there was an artist whose work tells a narrative, it is Mr. Rockwell’s!

The last time I visited the Rockwell collection was about 25 years ago when it was housed in an old church in Arlington, Vermont. I enjoyed seeing each of the iconic Americana images, however, the lighting and organization of the paintings did not do it justice. Now there is a beautiful structure in Stockbridge, Massachusetts housing the entire collection with a skilled curator at the helm. If you are ever in the area do not miss it! Check out the information on the museum.

This blog is brought to you by the 2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories, Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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Uniting People and An Artist

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“In my opinion, the cornerstone of our country is free press – that’s the cornerstone.” ~ Milos Forman

I find it interesting, but not particularly surprising, that the NormanRockwellMuseum has been holding swearing in ceremonies for new U.S. Citizens. “At an art museum?” Some of you might be questioning.

norman-rockwell-golden-rule-do-unto-others-april-1-1961Think about Rockwell’s painting, The Golden Rule. In this image Rockwell captures people of all different faiths and nationalities, who have come to the United States seeking a better way of life. In my opinion, a swearing in ceremony among paintings that depict iconic American life is a good fit.

Personally, I hope that the original painting of The Golden Rule is front and center, next to the American flag, in the area where our newest U.S. citizens pledge their allegiance to our country. The image is a good reminder that if you work hard and conduct yourself with integrity and honesty, you can reap the benefits of our prosperous nation. But you must treat others as you want to be treated yourself – with respect and dignity. Our nation’s pioneers founded the country on these principles, and we should not be a nation of “handouts.”

If you would like to read more about the swearing in ceremonies at the NormanRockwellMuseum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, read this article.  http://bit.ly/1dVvgbO. And if you would like to order a giclee print of The Golden Rule, please visit www.art.com.  

I am proud to be an American citizen living in a country where independent thoughts, words and views can be aired on sites such as this. But, again, we must respect each others opinions and values because  “we are one nation under God” and there is “liberty and justice for all.”  We live in a place where the laws of he land must be abided by.

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Filmmaking in a Different Era

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If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

What do movie mogul George Lucas and Norman Rockwell have in common? They are both visual storytellers, Lucas through film and Rockwell through iconic illustrations of of American people.

Lucas, producer and creator of the “Star Wars” empire, has sold his company, Lucasfilms, to Disney for a reported four billion dollars. As a top art collector, his retirement interests include opening a museum in San Francisco, to share with the public his vast private collection of Rockwell art, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish paintings, comic art, along with comic art and children’s book illustrations. http://yhoo.it/1baeepf.  Lucas is also interested in highlighting fashion, the cinematic arts, and digital art in the museum exhibitions to inspire young people and to appeal to a broad spectrum of people in multiple generations.

Steven Spielberg, another huge collector of Rockwell art, also has interests in Lucas’ museum plans. A book, Telling Stories, was published in connection with a 2010 SmithsonianAmericanArt Museum exhibit comprising Spielberg and Lucas’ private collections of Norman Rockwell art. The connection of Norman Rockwell’s depictions of American life and the movies is evident in this book.

Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is available through Amazon.com. Order this book, and enjoy seeing visual images of the American filmmaking way before the digital age.

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Rockwell Models Gather

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“I am the oldest antique in town.” ~ Norman Rockwell

RosieTheRiveterI love the images of Norman Rockwell. To me they are symbolic of the innate goodness of people and the average hardworking American. The paintings also remind me of a time when children were not rushed through childhood and were able to retain their innocence and naïveté for much longer. Things like patriotism, creativity, family and fellowship among people are depicted in so many of Rockwell’s paintings.

On July 6th, the NormanRockwellMuseum will be having a reunion of the models who posed for the artist who are still living. This event is being held in honor the 20th anniversary of the new museum building in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Panel discussions and the opportunity to hear Melinda Pelham (the daughter of the Arlington, Vermont Rockwell assistant), talk about her recent Rockwell discovery and her appearance on PBS-TV’s “Antiques Roadshow.” To read more about the Norman Rockwell Museum and this event, please follow this link to the website. http://bit.ly/16z8gcm .Click for info & ordering on Norman Rockwell Publications

Sounds like a fulfilling event! Put this on your “to do list” if you are in the area. While you are there, check out the many antique shops, farmers markets,historic architecture and the spectacular Berkshire countryside. The Sterling and Francine Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts http://www.clarkart.edu/museum/  is just a hop, skip and a jump away and worthwhile seeing!

Have a fulfilling 4th of July week, everybody. Cheers to independence and all things made in America!

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A Holiday Respite

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The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

norman-rockwell-christmas-homecoming-1What is it that draws us into reading books and watching movies about Christmas? Many are corny and unrealistic, yet there is still something that enchants us. I suppose we want to experience feelings of fulfillment – joy, love, hope, tenderness, amusement, generosity, faith, peace, harmony. Click on the link For info & ordering Norman Rockwell books

Art images of Christmas, such as this iconic Norman Rockwell painting, enfolds us in thoughts of things that keeps us believing in the goodness of our world and humanity; providing us with a respite from the more difficult realities of life.

Last fall I was introduced to author David Baldacci through his book, I Wish You Well, and found him to be a great story teller. He has a newly released book called, Forgotten, that is near the top of the NY Times Bestselling List, in print and e-book format. So, last week I decided to read his holiday tale, The Christmas Train. I enjoyed this light read and liked his quirky characters. The story was as sappy as maple sugar. In one turn of the story, had it been a true case scenerio, people would have died, or at the very least, frozen to the point of injury. But, in the spirit of Christmas, all turns out well. I did I really expect anything else? Click here for Baldacci books

Santa has always brought our family at least one new Christmas book or movie annually. Holiday Inn had to be replaced last year. The DVD was so worn with use it no longer had a clear picture.

If you are looking for a Christmas movie to watch with your family, here is a list of the top holiday movies of all time, listed in the Independent. http://ind.pn/Ta76PY.

nostalgic christmas2Heat up some hot chocolate, pair it with some popcorn and enjoy a holiday film in the comfort of your own home this weekend. It will do you good to relieve you of the stress of holiday preparations.

Return on Monday, and then I will be taking a break from blogging for a few days to fully enjoy the holiday.

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Rockwell Art: All about Community

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All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life. ~ Norman Rockwell        

Some of the most recognizable art in history are the illustrations of Norman Rockwell. His work reflects what was most important to him – life in small town America and the people who were integral to the fabric of the community in which he lived. For me, fulfilling thoughts of life in much simpler times are recalled when I see iconic Rockwell images. 

Now, by agreement between Kiwanis International www.kiwanisinternational.org and the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company of Niles, Illinois, outstanding community leaders, recognized by Kiwanis International, can now receive a fulfilling award of a Rockwell-style portrait to grace the walls of their homes. Photographs of Kiwanis Recognition Award recipients are transformed into images by outstanding artists licensed to put the stamp of Norman Rockwell Moments™ www.normanrockwellmoments.org onto their work. 

What a natural and splendid pairing of Kiwanis International and Norman Rockwell Moments™ this is!  Norman Rockwell-style portraits are heirloom gifts to entire families. They are lasting reminders to children, in future generations, of what set their ancestors apart. It was the very same qualities that Norman Rockwell sought in his subjects to paint – people who stood out in their communities. 

Kiwanis aims to bring a new whole generation of young adults into the fold. Maintaining and building strong communities in the 21st century will be as important to this non-profit organization as when the organization began in Detroit in 1914. 

Are you a young adult who believes that community spirit builds a better world? If so, contact your local Kiwanis Club and become a member. Perhaps someday you will be recognized as a community leader!

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