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Norman Rockwell: Drawing The American Dream


Visions of the American dream will be on view at The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages when Norman Rockwell: Drawing The American Dream opens on January 26, 2002. Rockwell looked to such themes as family life, growing up and holiday celebrations for the inspiration of much of his work. His drawings are highly idealized and, especially in today's climate, continue to invoke the values held dear by Americans.

The 40 works that will be on view through May 4, 2002, are among the 80 drawings that Rockwell produced for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company of Springfield, Massachusetts in the 1950's and 60's. By this time, Rockwell had earned a national reputation for his depictions of hard work, family life and education. Looking to promote similar ideals, Massachusetts Mutual commissioned the drawings for a national advertising campaign that ran in The Saturday Evening Post and other major magazines. Rockwell employed many of his Stockbridge, Massachusetts neighbors as subjects in these drawings, which were done in pencil and oil-free crayons and resemble a pencil sketch. (left: Norman Rockwell, Teenager Studying, conte crayon, 1960)

Rockwell, a New York City native, has been quoted as saying" Maybe as I grew up and found the world wasn't the perfectly pleasant place I had thought it to be, I unconsciously decided that, even if it wasn't an ideal world, it should be, so I painted only the ideal aspects of it."

''This is a rare opportunity for visitors to see these works by a man many feel is America's most beloved artist, " notes Jackie Day, President and CEO of The Long Island Museum. "While Rockwell's national traveling exhibition "Pictures for the American People" showcases his original paintings, his line drawings on view here at The Long Island Museum round out Rockwell's important contributions to American art."

After his death in 1978, his home and studio were opened to the public as the Norman Rockwell Museum. In 1984, Mass Mutual donated forty of the drawings to the museum. The other forty that make up this exhibit were donated to the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, a museum component of the Springfield Library and Museums Association. Now more than ever, the themes synonymous with Rockwell's work still resonate today.

Norman Rockwell: Drawing The American Dream has been organized by the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum of Springfield, Massachusetts.


Additional information on the Pictures for the American People exhibition (including more images):

Additional information on Norman Rockwell: Drawing The American Dream (including 16 images):

Additional resources on Norman Rockwell:

rev. 4/8/02

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