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The Old Corner House was the site of the first Normal Rockwell Museum.

Norman Rockwell Museum Celebrates 50th with Founders Day

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Norman Rockwell offered to hang his art in the newly rescued Old Corner House in Stockbridge, which would eventually become the first Normal Rockwell Museum.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Norman Rockwell Museum will host Founders Day, welcoming Berkshire County residents for free in celebration of the Golden Anniversary of the opening of The Old Corner House, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19.

Family and friends of Rosamond Sherwood wanted to honor her memory and her contribution as one of the three Stockbridge women who in 1967 helped rescue the then 200-year-old building that would later become the original Norman Rockwell Museum.

"Rosamond Sherwood, with Norma Ogden and Patricia Deely, led an effort to save this historic building and helped rescue the Old Corner House from demolition in 1967," said Laurie Norton Moffatt, director/CEO of Norman Rockwell Museum. "When the board was looking for programs and exhibitions for the house museum, which would include displays from the Stockbridge Historical Society, Rockwell generously offered, 'Would you like to hang some of my pictures?'"

The doors to the Old Corner House opened for business in May 1969 and a few years later the building originally intended as a home for the Stockbridge Historical Society would become known as the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Sherwood (1899-1990) grew up in family of visual and theatrical artists in the Stockbridge house on Yale Hill Road known as Strawberry Hill. She spent summers in the Berkshires with her mother, Rosina "Posie" Emmet Sherwood, and her aunt Lydia Emmet Field, both notable portrait painters, and four siblings, including brother Robert E. Sherwood, who became a four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

Sherwood became a year-round resident early in her life and an integral part of the Stockbridge community. A ragtime piano player, artist, gardener, and accomplished golfer, she supported the arts in the area and was an early trustee on the museum's board from 1973 to 1982.

On May 19, Founders Day will feature special gallery talks recounting the early days of the museum - from its original home on the corner of Main and Elm streets to its current location two miles down the road. Also, Norman Rockwell's "Shuffleton's Barbershop" will be on view, by special loan from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. A special talk by Curator of Education Tom Daly at 1 p.m. will explore Norman Rockwell's Stockbridge years.

Art activities throughout the day include "Curate Your Own Rockwell Exhibit" and "Create a Museum Sign." A historic property site walk and guided tour will take place at 3 p.m., weather permitting. Admission is for Berkshire County residents with ID, courtesy of the Family and Friends of Rosamond Sherwood. For more information, visit the website.


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