Art of an Icon
The art of one of America's most beloved and recognized illustrators has come to the North Carolina Museum of Art for the holidays.
"American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell" opened last Sunday in the museum's transformed East Building, now home to rotating exhibitions and educational programming.
Featuring 40 original paintings and more than 300 Saturday Evening Post covers, "American Chronicles" offers a rich, in-depth look at Rockwell's artistic contributions and the impact of his images on popular culture. The NCMA is the only North Carolina venue to host this nationally acclaimed exhibition organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.
"We're thrilled to unveil our transformed special exhibition galleries with the work of an American icon," says Lawrence Wheeler, museum director. "Rockwell's art transcends generations, offering visitors of all ages the chance to discover and rediscover his reflections of 20th-century America."
For six decades Rockwell (1894-1978) captured the American experience for the covers and pages of the nation's most prominent publications. He was the consummate visual storyteller, transforming images of everyday life into poignant, and sometimes humorous, works of art with broad popular appeal.
"American Chronicles" traces the evolution of Rockwell's art throughout his storied career - from carefully choreographed reflections on childhood innocence in "No Swimming" (1921) to powerful, consciousness-raising images like "The Problem We All Live With" (1963) and "Murder in Mississippi (1965), which documented the traumatic realities of desegregation in the South for Look magazine.
"One of the surprising aspects of this exhibition is the attention placed upon Rockwell's career in the 1960s after he abandoned being Norman Rockwell, the all-American painter," says John Coffey, curator of American and modern art. "Most people are unfamiliar with - or have forgotten - Rockwell's crusade in support of the civil rights movement."
"American Chronicles" will be on view until Jan. 30. It is one of five inaugural special exhibitions that opened Nov. 7 in the museum's East Building. The other exhibitions include "Bob Trotman: Inverted Utopias," "Fins and Feathers: Original Children's Book Illustrations from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art," "Binh Danh: In the Eclipse of Angkor" and John James Audubon's "The Birds of America."
"American Chronicles" was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Mass. The exhibition 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 Curtis Publishing Company and the Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company. Conservation support has been provided by the Stockman Family Foundation. In Raleigh, the presenting sponsor is Duke Energy, and supporting sponsors are Quintiles and ABC11 Eyewitness News.
"American Chronicles" will be open during regular museum hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.t o 5 p.m.
Timed-entry tickets are required to view "American Chronicles." Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for students, seniors, military personnel and groups of 10 or more; $7.50 for children ages 7 to 12; and free for children 6 and under and museum members on the first visit.
Tickets are available in person at the museum box office, by calling the box office at (919) 715-5923, or online at www.ncartmuseum.org.
The exhibition is accompanied by in-depth exhibition commentary and an 11-minute video.
Adult and family-themed audio tours will be available to rent for $5. The adult tour is also available in Spanish. A fully illustrated, 272-page catalog published by the Norman Rockwell Museum will be available for $30 in the special exhibition store.
Docent-led group tours for 10 or more are available with advance reservation by contacting the Museum's concierge at (919) 664-6785. Tours are free with admission.
A special exhibition store carrying Rockwell-related merchandise will be open during museum hours in the East Building.
During the run of the exhibition, Rockwell Cafe will offer casual food service, including light breakfast fare, sandwiches, snacks and beverages in East Building's former Blue Ridge Restaurant space. Cafe Rockwell opens at 10 a.m. and closes 30 minutes prior to the museum closing.
The Museum recently opened its new gallery building, home to the permanent collection. The North Carolina Museum of Art is located at 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh.
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