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.

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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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