Sunday, October 28, 2007

Here is Norman Rockwell's studio, in it's museum setting on a hill above the Housatonic River.You can tour it and go to the adjacent museum, which is amazing, and an eye opening experience for any narrative painter. One expects the adulation of Norman within, and it is there. That said, he is worth the praise as, when confronted with all the breadth of his narrative abilities, his constant search for better way to put down paint to tell story, reveal form, and celebrate the situation, and his attempt to probe the psyche of the American people within the restraints imposed by the Post's editorial policies, you realize what a genius he was. No book does justice, no second hand collection or giclee print carries it off as well as making the trip from Hartford north, or from Boston west, to this spot and to take in with in a large and broad collection so well staged and presented. As a painter illustrator, I found it humbling and uplifting.

The further humbling experience was to see three rooms of Al Parker and his astonishing,brilliant sense of style and innovation that incorporated so many influences from across the cultural spectrum, Picasso, Braque, jazz, cinema,collage, graphic design. All the while, he was based on a keen sense of draftsmanship. OhOh! My head hurt and my eyes ached. The Rockwell Museum has expanded its brief to include the celebration of illustration as a cultural communicator on par with the masters of the Rennaisance, and it is a truth indeed. Parker's show travels on to Washington University in St Louis, and I may have to go as there are also a mess of LaGattas, Whitcombs, Whitmores, Lovells, Georgis, Gannams and etc that accomany it for context!

Their next shows include Graphic Novels, an overview, followed by Steve Brodner's withering social commentary in caricature form next year. Another trip will be in order for that!

GO! And have dinner at Brix Wine Bar in Pittsfield . Sad note: no photos in museum due to copyright issues. Take only memories, leave only footprints.



Blogger Allen Song said...

It makes me envious that you had the privilege to visit the Rockwell museum. Reading about your experience reminds me of a few semesters ago, when we all went to see the Leyendecker exhibit. That was more than humbling to us students. To actually visit the area where Rockwell chilled and to see his studio would be an ecstatic time, not to mention viewing all the treasures that you got to see in person. I'd like to go before I die. Someday

8:01 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colton said...

I for one am extremely jealous. Did you swipe anything?

2:22 PM  

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