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American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell

Tampa Museum of Art

By Suzanne Cohen

A major exhibition celebrating Norman Rockwell’s legacy is on view at the Tampa Museum of Art. Tracing the history of this great American illustrators’ work and his contribution to historical commentary and visual storytelling, the show, drawn exclusively from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., offers a deep insight into his rich production.

Tampa Museum of Art  By Suzanne Cohen  A major exhibition celebrating Norman Rockwell’s legacy is on view at the Tampa Museum of Art. Tracing the history of this great American illustrators’ work and his contribution to historical commentary and visual storytelling, the show, drawn exclusively from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., offers a deep insight into his rich production.  Rockwell (1894-1978) was one of the most popular American artists of the 20th century. A keen observer of human nature, for nearly seven decades he chronicled America’s changing society in the small details and nuanced scenes of ordinary people in everyday life, providing a personalized interpretation––albeit often an idealized one––of national identity. His depictions offered a reassuring visual haven during a time of momentous transformation as America evolved into a complex, modern society. Rockwell’s contributions to national visual legacy, many of them now icons of American culture, have found a permanent place in our national psyche. The exhibition includes original oil paintings, as well as tear sheets of more than 320 covers the artist created during his long career with The Saturday Evening Post, the publication considered by Rockwell to be the “greatest show window in America.” Through May 31, 2015.

Norman Rockwell, Art Critic. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, April 16, 1955, ©1955: SEPS. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections.

Rockwell (1894-1978) was one of the most popular American artists of the 20th century. A keen observer of human nature, for nearly seven decades he chronicled America’s changing society in the small details and nuanced scenes of ordinary people in everyday life, providing a personalized interpretation–albeit often an idealized one–of national identity. His depictions offered a reassuring visual haven during a time of momentous transformation as America evolved into a complex, modern society. Rockwell’s contributions to national visual legacy, many of them now icons of American culture, have found a permanent place in our national psyche. The exhibition includes original oil paintings, as well as tear sheets of more than 320 covers the artist created during his long career with The Saturday Evening Post, the publication considered by Rockwell to be the “greatest show window in America.” Through May 31, 2015.

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