Dozens of Original Works and Hundreds of Vintage Saturday Evening Post Covers on view in Special Exhibition Norman Rockwell’s America February 20–August 8, 2021. Admission by donation on Opening Day.
Winchester, VA 2/17/2021 . . . Works by famed artist Norman Rockwell will be on view at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) from February 20 through August 8, 2021, in the special exhibition Norman Rockwell’s America.
To celebrate the exhibition’s opening day at the MSV, admission to Norman Rockwell’s America will be on a donation basis from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 20.
One of America’s most beloved artists of the twentieth century, Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) lived and worked through eventful periods in the nation’s history and his paintings vividly chronicled those times. Known to millions of Americans for his Saturday Evening Post covers, Rockwell worked for the prestigious magazine from 1916 to 1963 illustrating American life through the Depression years and World War II.
Norman Rockwell’s America presents a selection of works spanning six decades and includes more than 25 original paintings, studies, and drawings; 323 vintage Saturday Evening Post covers; and 1940s-era posters of Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms series. The exhibition also includes digital photographs by the artists’ group For Freedoms that are modern renditions of Rockwell’s Four Freedoms posters.
According to MSV Director of Exhibitions Corwyn Garman, Norman Rockwell’s America offers visitors the special opportunity to see 12 original Rockwell paintings displayed alongside vintage Saturday Evening Post covers bearing the same image. The earliest such example in the exhibition is Rockwell’s 1919 painting The Doughboy and His Admirers—a work that reflects the joy and happiness that Americans felt at the end of World War I—which is presented with the February 22, 1919, Saturday Evening Post cover.
A vintage copy of every Saturday Evening Post magazine cover with art created by Norman Rockwell is included in the exhibition, from the artist’s first cover on May 20, 1916, featuring Boy with a Baby Carriage to his final cover on December 14, 1963, which bears Rockwell’s Portrait of John F. Kennedy, originally created for the magazine’s cover on October 29, 1960, and republished just weeks after the president’s assassination.
Along with providing a look at life in twentieth-century America, works in Norman Rockwell’s America present an overview of the artist’s career and illustrate Rockwell’s artistic process. The exhibition presents original works in various stages of finish, including rough oil sketches, highly finished drawings, and highly finished oil paintings. One example of what appears to be a final version of a work before it was printed on a magazine cover is Rockwell’s 1948 painting The Bridge Game. A colorful oil painting providing a bird’s-eye view of two couples playing the classic card game, The Bridge Game is displayed next to the Saturday Evening Post cover featuring the painting.
Norman Rockwell’s America is curated and organized by National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, Rhode Island, and the American Illustrators Gallery, New York, New York. The exhibition’s display at the MSV has been made possible by Perry Engineering Company, Inc., United Bank, and media partner Shenandoah Country Q102.
A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes a galleries building that presents permanent and rotating exhibitions, the Glen Burnie House, seven acres of formal gardens, and The Trails at the MSV, a free-admission art park open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. The galleries are open year-round Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through December). The house and gardens are open April through December. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. General admission is always free to youth ages 12 and under and to MSV members. Thanks to corporate partner Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., admission is free to all every Wednesday. Additional details are available here or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.