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The American Spirit: Norman Rockwell's Artworks Continue National Tour at Newark Museum, 2/28-5/26

Related: Norman Rockwell, Newark Museum
The American Spirit: Norman Rockwell's Artworks Continue National Tour at Newark Museum, 2/28-5/26

Newark, NJ -- An important exhibition that explores Norman Rockwell's unparalleled role as an American icon-maker and storyteller will be on view at the Newark Museum from February 28 through May 26, 2014. The exhibition American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell is organized by Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) painted the best of America, creating indelible images of the lives, hopes and dreams of Americans in the 20th century. Expertly weaving both narrative and painterly images, he was a consummate visual storyteller with a finely honed sense of what made an image successful in the new, rapidly changing era of mass media. Rockwell's unique artistic legacy, established during 65 years of painting, offers a personal chronicle of 20th century life and aspirations that has both reflected and profoundly influenced American perceptions and ideals.

All of the original works on view in American Chronicles are drawn from the permanent collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum, including such beloved and well-known images as "Triple Self-Portrait" (1960), "Girl at Mirror" (1954), "Going and Coming" (1947), and "Art Critic" (1955). The exhibition will include materials from the Norman Rockwell Museum's archives demonstrating how Rockwell worked, proceeding from preliminary sketches, photographs, color studies and detailed drawings to the finished painting.

American Chronicles has been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpieces Program. Publication support has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Media sponsorship has been provided by the Curtis Publishing Company and by the Norman Rockwell Family Agency. Conservation support has been provided by the Stockman Family Foundation.

The Newark Museum presentation of this exhibition is made possible by Bank of America. This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendation in this exhibition, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Major support provided by the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation with additional support by an anonymous donor, Arlene and Len Lieberman, Lipper Advisory Services and the Newark Museum Volunteer Organization. New York based public radio station WNYC is a media partner of the Newark Museum for its presentation of American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell.

"The Newark Museum is a cornerstone of New Jersey's cultural identity and an important economic driver," said Bob Doherty, New Jersey president, Bank of America. "Access to art is essential to the strength of our communities, and this exhibit will bring a celebration of American imagery to individuals and families both here in Newark and throughout the state."

Five Themes in the Career of an American Icon Maker

American Chronicles traces the evolution of Rockwell's art and iconography throughout his career from carefully choreographed reflections on childhood innocence in such paintings as "No Swimming" (1921) to powerful, consciousness-raising images like "The Problem We All Live With" (1964), which documented the traumatic realities of desegregation in the South. Commentary focusing on recurring personal themes, artistic and cultural influences, and the commercial climate that influenced Rockwell's creative process will be woven throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition is divided into five thematic groups to demonstrate how Rockwell's images provided Americans with a vocabulary for describing and celebrating themselves, their country and their experiences in the 20th century. Themes explored in the exhibition include: American Roots; Reflecting and Shaping American Character; Idealism, Attitude and the American Dream; Shaping the American Aesthetic; and The Artist's Process, which offers insight into the development of "Murder in Mississippi" (1965), Rockwell's haunting depiction of a civil rights tragedy in the South, from first idea to finished painting and published work. The exhibition will bring visitors into Rockwell's creative process, tracing the artist's complex, time-consuming working method, from original concept to the final painting and the published image. A complete set of all 323 of Rockwell's covers for The Saturday Evening Post are also included in the exhibition. Rockwell's work for the Post spanned a remarkable 47 years and the artist became a household name in the process.

The exhibition venues also include: Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee- November 1, 2013 through February 9, 2014; Fondazione Roma-Arte-Musei, Rome, Italy- November 10, 2014 through February 8, 2015; and Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah, November 19, 2015 through February 13, 2016.

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