The Crocker Art Museum is proud to present a collection by one of America’s most iconic and beloved artists, Norman Rockwell, from November 10, 2012 through February 3, 2013. “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell” offers a rare look at nostalgic and historic works from the Norman Rockwell Museum collection that explores the artist, his images, and their impact and influence on American culture. This exhibition will feature more than 50 paintings and 323 original “Saturday Evening Post” covers. It is the first major Rockwell exhibit in California in 10 years.
“Rockwell’s images have become icons of the American experience and continue to resonate with each generation,” says Scott A. Shields, the Crocker Art Museum’s Associate Director and Chief Curator. “This exhibition includes numerous paintings that have helped define who we are.”
The timelessness and emotion of Rockwell’s work draws every generation. This exhibition explores his themes of family (“Freedom from Want” and “Christmas Homecoming”), innocence (“Girl at Mirror”), and hometown heroism (“Mine America’s Coal”) that permeate Rockwell’s work. His unique artistic legacy offers a personal chronicle of 20th-century life and aspirations that has both reflected and profoundly influenced American perceptions and ideals.
Rockwell’s paintings narrate life with love, affection, and humor, and he used these uplifting sentiments effectively while creating commercial and advertising work during his 47-year tenure at the “Saturday Evening Post.” Then, in 1964, Rockwell used his illustrative and storytelling skills at “Look” magazine to illuminate social issues such as war, racism, poverty, and injustice. His January 14, 1964 cover, “The Problem We All Live With,” documented the traumatic realities of desegregation in the South. The painting still receives national acclaim and was recently on display at the White House at the request of President Obama to commemorate the event that inspired Rockwell to create the bold illustration: the 50th anniversary of Ruby Bridges’ history-changing walk on November 14, 1960 that integrated the William Frantz Public School in New Orleans.
A fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibition will be available in the Crocker Art Museum Store.
The Crocker Art Museum was the first art museum in the Western U.S. and remains one of the leading art museums in California. Established in 1885, the Museum features one of the country’s finest collections of Californian art, exceptional holdings of master drawings, a comprehensive collection of international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursdays. Every third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday” sponsored by Western Health Advantage.