Home About Archives RSS Feed

Norman Rockwell Archive Goes Live Online

Nichole Dupont

Bill Scovill was one of Rockwell's reference photographers. Here is a negative of one such photograph used in 'The Golden Rule.' All the images carry the museum's watermark. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections, copyright NRELC, Niles, IL.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Paul Strand, the modernist American who put photography on the 20th century art map, said the "artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep."

 While Strand himself found inspiration in the rooftops and streets of Manhattan, Norman Rockwell, the Berkshires' own "adopted son," found inspiration in the people in his community and the concepts of his time.

Now, thanks to some $2 million in grants over the past seven years from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Henry Luce Foundation and the town of Stockbridge (to name a few), 4,400 of Rockwell's drawings and paintings as well as 20,000 photographs, correspondence and art and ephemera from other American illustrators are available for online viewing and research.

 This week the Norman Rockwell Museum officially launched ProjectNORMAN, an online art and archive network dedicated to all things Rockwell.

According to a press release issued by the museum, the project is the result of a decadelong collection, cataloguing and digitization project. The result is a gorgeous, in-depth, visually rich archive that sheds a different light on the man with the wooden pipe.

Of course, the website contains images of the famous paintings we all visit the museum to see, but there is more, much more including fan letters to the artist, pictures of all of the objects that were found in his last studio and images of original sketches. Yet, to me, what is most striking about the ProjectNORMAN collection are the scores of black and white negatives of the models he used for his paintings. These images, many of which were taken by Stockbridge resident Bill Scovill (1914-1997), are works of art themselves, and capture the very human, in some cases melancholy expressions on the faces of Rockwell’s models.

These "reference" photographs are holding their own at the Brooklyn Museum in a traveling exhibit titled "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera." In fact, in a recent review of the exhibition, New York Times art critic Ken Johnson called it a "revelation" into Rockwell's work as a "naturalist" illustrator.

'The Golden Rule' is among Rockwell's best-known works. "Golden Rule," Norman Rockwell, 1960. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections, copyright 1960 SEPS: Indianapolis, IN.

The heartfelt photographs compliment the many letters Rockwell received from his admiring fans, including a 1961 letter from Songma Tenzing Lama, a Buddhist lama who wrote in praise of "The Golden Rule," which appeared on the April cover of the Saturday Evening Post.

"… I especially appreciate this picture which does speak from the heart to the heart better than all the political Summit Meetings."

ProjectNORMAN is an honest display of not only an artist's work but also his inspiration; his life behind the painting. To visit the archival collections go to collections.nrm.org/highlights.jsp.

0 Comments
Tags: ProjectNORMAN, archives      
News Headlines
Williams Men's Basketball Advances in League Tourney
MCLA Men Win, Women Lose on Senior Day
Winter Carnival Draws Families to Springside Park
Lanesborough Selectmen Discuss Safety of Youth Football
Berkshire Bank Hires New Wealth Adviser
SVMC Nurse to Speak at American Association of Heart Failure Nurses Meeting
The Mount Welcomes the 2018 Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence
Wahconah Student presented with S.A.Y. It Proud Award
New General Manager Appointed at Orchards Hotel
Two Certified Nurse-Midwives, New OB-GYN Join CHP


Categories:
Culture (10)
History (3)
Museums (1)
Nature (5)
Real Estate (4)
Shopping (6)
Archives:
Tags:
Verizon Ideas Berkshire Great Barrington Lenox Brother Service New Other Berkshire Humane Society Birds Bird Count Bartholomew's Cobble Year's Karen Pittsfield Vacation Projectnorman Mountain Lee Fire Station Insects Survey School Salt Celebrities Great Bakery Rene Wendell Closing Pink Contest Barrington Darryl's Archives
Popular Entries:
The Last of the Insects
Norman Rockwell Archive Goes Live Online
Schooled in Passion: Packer's "Women of Will" at Shake & Co.
Is Verizon Making Good on Its Word?
Pittsfield Through the Lens
Could New Neighbors Be Wall Street Journal Heirs?
New To Me: the Boho Exchange
Late-Night Host Fallon Skis Butternut
Third Thursday Feast
Inside/Out not upside down
Recent Entries:
Schooled in Passion: Packer's "Women of Will" at Shake & Co.
A Place for Us: Re-Wear Brings Style to Sheffield
Richmond Still Looking For Town Clerk
The Last of the Insects
Is Verizon Making Good on Its Word?
Building Collapses in Great Barrington
Could New Neighbors Be Wall Street Journal Heirs?
Mother Nature is No Match for Cheese
Construct Running Out of Emergency Funds
Winter Breakdown at Ben's in Lee