Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute will present the landmark exhibition Norman Rockwell, June 11 through September 18, featuring iconic images of American scenes painted by the most beloved artist and illustrator of the 20th century.
Over the course of his six-decade career, Norman Rockwell illustrated the everyday moments in America, featuring diverse races, nationalities, economic backgrounds, and creeds. Through two world wars, the Great Depression, the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the Civil Rights struggles, Rockwell promoted an optimistic world in the face of hardship and struggle. This exhibition will present Rockwell’s story-filled scenes of American life as well as the people behind the images—from presidents to postmen.
With more than 50 original artworks including full-scale oil paintings, photographs, drawings, and archival magazines and tear sheets, Norman Rockwell will unlock the mystery of how the artist’s most significant commissions developed from start to finish.
Rockwell’s particular style of artistic journalism will resonate throughout the exhibition, giving visitors an exclusive perspective on historical events that shaped American life during much of the 20th century. Included in the exhibition will be all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers that Norman Rockwell (1894 - 1978) illustrated over 47 years, from 1916 to 1963.
Rockwell’s paintings were reproduced continually on magazine covers from the 1920s to the 1960s, and their appeal was immense. Time magazine called Rockwell “probably the best-loved U.S. artist alive,” while the New York Times compared his paintings to Mark Twain’s novels. His later paintings from the 1960s and ’70s promoted civil rights and equality for all, and even his seemingly whimsical compositions often addressed shifting gender roles, class divides, democratic values, and the embrace of all ethnicities and religions.
With themes relevant to today, Norman Rockwell will enable visitors to rediscover historical events of the 20th century—from a nostalgic 1918 illustration of boys fishing, through World War II and the legendary Four Freedoms series to New Kids in the Neighborhood, a powerful Rockwell artwork addressing Civil Rights and desegregation. Also included will be memorable portrayals of the 20th century’s most noted and notorious political figures, including Robert Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon alongside images of refugees and coal miners.
Through partnerships and collaborations with community groups throughout the Central New York region, programming and outreach for Norman Rockwell will include events that are of interest to diverse communities. The Museum’s African American Community Partners, an advisory panel drawn from the greater Utica community, will provide insight on programming and interpretation.
We thank our exhibition sponsors
Christian and Cheryl Heilmann
Elizabeth R. Lemieux, Ph.D.
The Family of F.X. Matt II
Joseph A. Abraham
The John and Cynthia DeTraglia Fund of the Community
Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties
P.J. Green, Inc.
Dr. W. Anthony and Carol B. Mandour
Nye and Company Auctioneers / Appraisers
The Hon. Joan E. Shkane (ret.).
Norman Rockwell has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Media sponsorship has been provided by Curtis Licensing, a division of The Saturday Evening Post.
® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.
MWPAI members free
SNAP/EBT cardholder's free
Active Duty Military and family free
Children 12 and younger free
General public $10
Full-time students $5
Reciprocal museum and NARM members $8
Permanent collection galleries are always free
and open to everyone.
Read what other regional media are saying about the exhibition!
In Utica, a glimpse of Norman Rockwell’s two Americas
"Most visitors know Rockwell, and they know his America. It’s the country of nicely pressed Boy Scouts, of Thanksgiving turkeys, and lively town hall meetings. And it is. Rockwell’s America is also the country of brutal backlash against freedom riders. Of housing discrimination and suspicious neighbors. Of immigrants and minorities and women not afforded a bully pulpit. The artist painted both Americas — and increasingly the latter — during his lifetime, from 1894 to 1978."
"The Rockwell Exhibit! A Must See This Summer!" --AllOtsego.com
"Exhibit at MWPAI shares scenes of America" --Daily Sentinel
"Norman Rockwell's career, from Americana to civil rights, on display at Utica art exhibition" --Observer-Dispatch
"‘Right show for the right time’: Norman Rockwell exhibit featured in Utica" --Watertown Times
"You have to check out the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the @MunsonWilliamsUtica!" --Mohawk Valley Living