(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – Exhibitions of works by Howard Pyle, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Alex Ross, and Istvan Banyai – and, of course, Norman Rockwell – will be featured at the Norman Rockwell Museum in 2012.
The museum’s “Distinguished Illustrator Series,” which reflects the impact and evolution of Rockwell’s profession, continues in March with a new exhibition showcasing a contemporary master – ”Everett Raymond Kinstler, Illustrations and Portraits” will be on view from March 10 through June 10, 2012.
Highly regarded as a prominent American portraitist, Everett Raymond Kinstler began his career as a comic book artist and illustrator working for the popular publications of his day. Following in the tradition of Norman Rockwell, the artist’s original illustrations and portraits of noted celebrities – from John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn, Tony Bennett, and Tom Wolfe to artists James Montgomery Flagg, Alexander Calder, and Will Barnett – will be on view in an installation that explores the process of capturing likenesses of his subjects for posterity.
A special exhibition opening will be held at the museum on Saturday, March 10, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., with remarks from Kinstler, who will be in attendance. The artist will also lead an adult art workshop on the art of portraiture, on Saturday, April 14, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Norman Rockwell Museum continues to explore the work of its namesake through the new exhibition “Rockwell Turns a Page: The Art of The Book,” on view from March 9 through June 17, 2012. The exhibition will feature rarely exhibited Rockwell drawings and paintings from several of the many books the artist illustrated, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Poor Richard’s Almanac, and Willie Was Different, the 1967 picture book that Rockwell created with his wife Molly.
Rockwell’s Stockbridge art studio will reopen on the museum’s grounds from May 1 through October 31, 2012, offering visitors a unique opportunity to view the artist’s original working space. Through the museum’s extensive archive of recently digitized photographic negatives, the studio has been faithfully recreated to appear as it did back in October 1960, when the artist was working on his landmark Saturday Evening Post cover painting, The Golden Rule.
This summer, the museum offers an extensive look at the life and career of one of Rockwell’s own artistic heroes: golden age illustrator Howard Pyle. When Pyle died in 1911, he left behind an extensive body of over 3,000 works of art and a lasting legacy of inspired teaching. On view from June 9 through October 28, 2012, “Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered” will showcase a selection of the highly influential artist’s best known and rarely seen paintings, drawings, prints, and archival materials that shed light on the artist’s career as a painter and a consummate storyteller in a changing world at the cusp of the 20th century.
The artist’s powerful paintings of pirates and historical and literary themes continue to spark the imagination. His extraordinary skill was strengthened by his conviction that illustration was an act of self-revelation, and he encouraged students like N.C. Wyeth, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Frank Schoonover to understand their subjects by living them. The exhibition is organized by the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, which holds a significant collection of original works by Pyle and other renowned American illustrators.
Next fall, Norman Rockwell Museum takes a look at Alex Ross, a modern-day master in the field of illustration, who was directly influenced by Rockwell. Ross is one of the greatest artists in the field of comic books, and has revitalized classic superheroes into works of fine art with his brilliant use of watercolor.
Organized by The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “Heroes and Villians: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross” looks at how the artist’s groundbreaking work has revolutionized the comic book industry and transcended the newsstand origins of his profession. On view from November 10, 2012 through February 24, 2013, the exhibition will showcase the highly detailed paintings created by Ross, as well as the heavy influence of American illustration and Pop Art on the artist, with original works by Andy Warhol, Andrew Loomis, JC Leyendecker, and Norman Rockwell, also on view.
Also in November, the museum’s “Distinguished Illustrator Series” continues with the exhibition, “Istvan Banyai: Art of Persuasion.” An innovative Hungarian-born illustrator, Istvan Banyai made his mark as an award-winning artist in the United States, and has been creating persuasive, elegant artworks for publishers and corporations for more than 30 years.
Banyai’s striking imagery has appeared on the covers and pages of The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, GQ and Esquire, and has been featured by Absolut Vodka, Nickelodeon, MTV Europe, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Penguin Putnam/Viking, and many others. The artist’s influential visual commentary, and his approach to image-making will be explored in the exhibition, which will be on view from November 12, 2012, through February 24, 2013.
Winter 2012 sees the continuation of the museum’s current exhibitions, “Curious George Saves The Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey” (through February 5); “Norman Rockwell and the Ghost of Dickens” (through March 4); and “Pop-Up! The Magical World of Movable Books” (through April 22), along with its ever-popular display of all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers, created by Rockwell from 1916 to 1963.
The Annual Berkshire County High School Art Show returns to the museum on February 5, 2012, to celebrate its 26th year of presenting a diverse selection of original works by high school art students from Berkshire County, where Norman Rockwell lived and worked for the last 25 years of his career. The exhibition will be on view through March 6, 2012.
Norman Rockwell Museum is the preeminent museum of American illustration art. Dedicated to art education and art appreciation inspired by the enduring legacy of Norman Rockwell, the museum stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of Rockwell art, and presents the works of contemporary and past masters of illustration.
The museum’s holdings include Rockwell’s last studio, moved from its original location to the Museum grounds, and the Norman Rockwell Archives, a 200,000-object collection undergoing digital preservation through ProjectNORMAN, “A Save America’s Treasures Project.” The museum is also home to the new Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, the nation’s first research institute devoted to the art of illustration. In 2008, Norman Rockwell Museum became the first-ever museum recipient of the National Humanities Medal, America’s highest honor in the field.
Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Mass., Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The museum is open year-round; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. From May through October, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; from November through April, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Rockwell’s studio is open May through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission is $16, $14.50 for seniors, $10 for students, $5 for kids and teens 6 to 18, and free for museum members and children 5 and under. Visit the museum online at Norman Rockwell Museum.