June 9 through October 28, 2018
Norman Rockwell Museum, Exhibition: Keepers of the Flame
June 9 - July 14
Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell and the Narrative Tradition will shed light on the thread connecting American narrative painting—as embodied by legendary illustrators Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966), N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945), and Norman Rockwell (1894–1978)—to the roots of European painting, tracing the long line of teachers who, through the centuries, passed wisdom, knowledge, and techniques to the next generation of creators.
In tracing the student to teacher lineage of the three Golden Age illustrators back to their artistic forbearers in the Italian Renaissance, the exhibition shows that they painted with the same principles and techniques as their ancestral mentors, creating both iconic imagery and unforgettable narratives, and defining themselves as true inheritors of the rich lineage of traditional Western painting.
Keepers of the Flame comprises more than 65 works by American and European masters, culled from public and private collections from across the United States. This includes works by Robert Vonnoh, Thomas Anshutz, George Bridgman, Henry Siddons Mowbray, Howard Pyle, and Thomas Eakins, as well as paintings by mainstays of the French academies of the 19th century, Jean Leon Gérome, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Paul Delaroche, Henri Lehmann, and Mark Charles Gleyre, and other masters through the centuries.
A digital component will further trace the artistic lineage and influences in the form of a “family tree” comprising portraits, biographies, and selected paintings from more than 70 artists from 1400 to 1950.
Norman Rockwell Museum will host a Berkshire Community Day on Sunday, June 10, on the opening weekend for the Keepers of the Flame exhibition, including Shuffleton’s Barbershop. Berkshire County residents will be offered free admission to view the exhibition and the beloved painting.
A members opening event for Keepers of the Flame will be held at the Museum on Saturday, July 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with commentary by exhibition curator Dennis Nolan at 6 p.m. The event is free for members, $20 for not-yet members.
A richly illustrated exhibition catalogue will include essays by Nolan, Plunkett, and award-winning illustrator, professor, and Norman Rockwell Museum Board President Alice A. Carter.
Organized by Norman Rockwell Museum, the exhibition is curated by Dennis Nolan, an award-winning illustrator and professor emeritus of the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, and Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum.
The exhibition is sponsored in part by TD Bank and the Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation.
The Lantern Bearers, 1908
Oil on canvas, mounted on board, 40” x 32”
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2006.71.
Photography by Dwight Primiano
In the Crystal Depths, 1906
Oil on canvas, 38″ x 26″
Illustration for N. C. Wyeth, “The Indian in His Solitude”, The Outing Magazine, vol. L, no. 3, June 1907
Brandywine River Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 1981
Girl at Mirror, c. 1954
Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 6, 1954
Oil on canvas, 40 1/4″ x 38 1/2″
Norman Rockwell Museum Collection, NRACT.1973.008
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