Norman Rockwell Blockbuster Exhibition Opens at WAG Friday
The final painting of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s highly anticipated Norman Rockwell exhibition was installed today. American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell opens to the public this Friday, on view through May 20.
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was the people’s painter, depicting scenes from everyday American life for the covers and pages of the nation’s most prominent publications. A weaver of narrative and painterly images, he was a consummate visual storyteller with a finely honed sense of what made an image successful in the new, rapidly changing era of mass media into which he came of age. The American Chronicles exhibition has toured the United States to record crowds (exceeding 100,000 at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh) and the WAG is the only Canadian venue -- and the host of the first major exhibition of Rockwell’s paintings in Canada.
“It is our great pleasure to present this historic retrospective exhibition in Canada” says Stephen Borys, WAG Executive Director. “As one of America’s best loved artists who worked for more than six decades capturing much of the 20th century on canvas and paper, Norman Rockwell produced images that appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.”
The exhibition traces the evolution of Rockwell’s art and iconography throughout his career – from carefully choreographed reflections on childhood innocence in such paintings as Day in the Life of a Little Girl (1952) to powerful, consciousness-raising images for Look in the 1960s documenting the traumatic realties of desegregation in the South. Featuring over 40 major paintings, the complete set of 323 Saturday Evening Post covers, and a group of rarely seen preparatory works and artifacts, the exhibition is organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director and CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum, who is travelling to Winnipeg for the opening comments, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to share these extraordinary works from our collection with a Canadian audience. As the artist is credited with painting the best of North America, it seems long overdue.”
Under the honourary patronage of Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Gary Doer, the exhibition is made possible through the support of the Embassy of the United States of America and presenting sponsor, Border Glass & Aluminum.
American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpieces Program. Sponsorship is also provided by the Curtis Publishing Company, the Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company, and the Stockman Family Foundation. Audio Tours have been made possible by a generous gift from The Mauro Family Foundation Inc. Local Sponsors: Border Glass & Aluminum Ltd. (Presenting Sponsor), Embassy of the United States of America, Lindsey Steek & Company, Ricoh, Manitoba Blue Cross, Sigurdson McFadden Benefits & Pensions and Manitoba Lotteries (Volunteer Sponsor). Local Media Sponsors: Winnipeg Free Press, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, CJOB, CTV and Prairie Public Broadcasting.
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