Monday, November 29, 2010

Revisiting Rockwell

I was fortunate to get a preview of the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the NC Museum of Art a couple of weeks ago. A group from the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce attended thanks to our host, the Association for Corporate Growth.

Art snobs consider Norman Rockwell a kitschy illustrator, but history will likely judge him a great American realist painter. OK, what do I know about art!?! But we boomers (and our parents...and their parents) grew up with Rockwell’s magazine covers.

The NCMA exhibit includes over 300 Saturday Evening Post covers spanning forty-seven years. That’s a lot to take in. To navigate five decades, my wife and I would pick significant family milestones (birthdays & wedding anniversaries) and find the corresponding covers. Those framed covers frame history in a poignant way.

Rockwell took a personal interest in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and that’s another aspect of the exhibit. The night after our museum visit, Katie Couric did a story on one of the Rockwell paintings for the CBS Evening News.

What interested me the most? It should be obvious...

The Rockwell exhibition runs through January 30th. Work it into your calendar over the holidays!