May 5 – September 3, 2012
Heritage Museums & Gardens will present a major exhibition of iconic American illustrator Norman Rockwell’s work titled “Norman Rockwell: Beyond the Easel” presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation from May 5 through September 3, 2012. The exhibit is made possible in part by Bank of America, Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines and media partners Wicked Local, Cape Cod Broadcasting and Cape Cod Times.
Featuring more than 150 artworks by the famous illustrator, this exhibition is comprised of two approaches to Rockwell’s work that were organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. The first, “Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera,” brings together prints of Rockwell’s study photographs, original paintings and drawings linked to the photographs. The result is a fascinating frame-by-frame view of the development of some of Rockwell’s most indelible images. At the same time, the photographs themselves are fully realized works of art in their own right.
The second part of the exhibition is entitled, “Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration” and is sponsored by Pfizer Inc., who has been working to help people live longer, healthier lives for more than 158 years. These rare, original oil paintings, considered to be among the finest examples of Rockwell’s advertising commissions, explore the doctor/patient relationship, physical fitness, health and healing. From 1929 to 1961, Rockwell was commissioned to create images for the advertising campaigns of The Upjohn Company, Lambert Pharmacal, and American Optical. Similar to the work he created for The Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell’s advertising images inspired Americans to view themselves and their physicians with optimism, and presented the notion that health is affected as much by our emotional lives as by our physical well-being.
This exhibit will also feature from Heritage’s own collection, fully-restored posters of Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” paintings. The theme of these four works was based on President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union Address, which identified the four essential human rights – Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear. In addition, Heritage will host an installation in its Auto Gallery titled “Going and Coming” that will present many of Rockwell’s images that include automobiles alongside the very cars they depict. For example, a 1951 Ford Country Squire, courtesy of the Collection of Bunky and Doug Woodbury, as seen in the Rockwell image “Closing up for the Summer” will be on-site. Visitors will be able to appreciate the realism of Rockwell’s works by seeing the two-dimensional representation alongside a real-life, three-dimensional example.