Thursday, February 20, 2014

Norman Rockwell Museum Collections

1. Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), ‘The Cobbler Studying Doll’s Shoe,1921. Cover illustration for Literary Digest, April 31, 1921. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. Courtesy of Jane and Jack Fitzpatrick of Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
2. [1949] Group photo of Famous Artists School Faculty. Left to right:  Harold von Schmidt, John Atherton, Al Parker, founder Al Dorne (white shirt, on the ground), Norman Rockwell (with painting created for Cecil B. DeMille’s 1949 film, Samson and Delilah), Ben Stahl, Peter Helck, Stevan Dohanos, Jon Whitcomb, Austin Briggs (rear, far right), and Robert Fawcett (front, far right). ©Norman Rockwell Museum Archives, gift of Famous Artists School. All rights reserved.
The Norman Rockwell Museum, founded forty-five years ago, has just announced a significant expansion of their collections, some of which are printed here. The Museum’s collection consists of works by practicing illustrators active from the time of the American Civil War to the present. Quoting the Norman Rockwell Museum’s press release

Famous Artists School/Cortina Learning International owners, Magdalen and Robert Livesey have donated the entire Archive of the Famous Artists School to Norman Rockwell Museum. The collection consists of more than 5000 original artworks by the program’s founding illustrators.

3. Norman Rockwell (second from right) with fellow illustrators/instructors at the Famous Artists School. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. Courtesy of Cortina Learning International/Famous Artists School. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.
Highlights among the collection include original studies, drawings, and paintings by the original “famous illustrators,” as well as drawings and cartoons by such popular cartoonists as Al Capp, Milton Caniff, Rube Goldberg. Harry Haenigsen, Willard Mullin, Gurney Williams, Dick Cavalli, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Virgil Partch, and Barney Tobey.

Among these treasures are several original works by Norman Rockwell, created for the artist’s own instructional course.

4. Norman Rockwell at the Famous Artists School. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. Courtesy of Cortina Learning International/Famous Artists School. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.
The Famous Artists School Archive contains a rich body of materials – from candid archival photographs and promotional and instructional films to complete courses in illustration and cartooning. The archive joins the Norman Rockwell Archive, the most comprehensive collection of the artist’s papers, reference photographs, business correspondence and ephemera, frequently sought by scholars and accessible online.

It is remarkable that this exceptional and historic collection was saved from complete loss. Sitting in a Connecticut warehouse, threatened by water damage, and once rescued from a warehouse fire, this generous gift from Magdalen and Robert Livesey of Cortina Learning International will enable the Museum to preserve and digitize the material, and make the collection publically accessible for the first time. An exhibition highlighting the Famous Artists School also is being planned.

5. ‘First Signs of Spring,’ by Norman Rockwell, 1947. Oil on canvas, 22″ x 17″. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 22, 1947. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections, gift of Ginny Severinghaus in memory of Nelson “Ben” Severinghaus. ©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.
As if that were not enough

Recent donations of original illustration art include a rare series of theater sketches by James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) from portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler; an original work by Rockwell’s friend and fellow illustrator, Mead Schaeffer (1898-1980), courtesy of his daughter Lee Schaeffer Goodfellow and her spouse Robert Adams Goodfellow; paintings by Austin Briggs (1908-73) and Edwin Georgi (1896-1964), courtesy of their model Loretta Knight; original works by illustrators Will Crawford 1869-1944), Fortunino Matania (1881-1963), Henry Pitz (1895-1976) and Albert Sterner (1863-1946), from The Kelly Collection of American Illustration; an original work by Howard Pyle (1853-1911) from Norman Rockwell Museum President Emerita Lila W. Berle; and an exceptional collection of 96 editorial and advertising illustrations by Fred Eng (1917-95) from the Eng Family.

6. ‘Girl with Picnic Basket Going Swimming,’ by Norman Rockwell, 1929. Oil on canvas. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, June 15, 1929. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections, gift from Jeanie Kull Low and John T.C. Low. 
Donations also include works on paper by C. Clyde Squires (1883-1970), Arthur William Brown (1881-1996), H.M. Stoops (1888-1948), and Thornton Oakley (1881-1953), and paintings by Tom Lovell (1909-97) and Henry William Reusswig (1902-78) from Norman Rockwell Museum President Robert T. Horvath, who has intended his entire collection of illustration art for the Norman Rockwell Museum; original drawings by Thomas Fogarty (1873-1938), donated by the artist’s grandson, Thomas Fogarty, and by trustee Alice Carter and her mother Jane Eisenstadt; an oil on canvas painting by illustrator Bernie Fuchs (1932-2009), courtesy of Ellis and Anna Lee Fuchs; paintings by Henry Guy Fangel (19th/20th century) and William Sherman Potts (1876-1930) courtesy of Tim J. and Michelle Y. Smith/Shhboom Gallery; a 1941 watercolor and gouache painting for The Saturday Evening Post by John F. Gould (1906-96), courtesy of Robert Gould and the Gould Family; four original works created by Rockwell model and fellow artist Fred Hildebrandt, including 1938 portraits of Norman Rockwell sons Thomas and Peter Rockwell; and the 1928 painting, ‘No Fishing,’ created for the November 14, 1928 cover of Collier’s magazine, featuring Norman Rockwell as model, donated by Hildebrandt’s daughter, Alexandra Hildebrandt Hoy.

7. ‘Fishing Trip, They’ll Be Coming Back Next Week,’ by Norman Rockwell. 1919. Oil on canvas, 29" x 29". Cover illustration for The Country Gentleman, April 26, 1919. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections, gift of The Rodger P. Nordblom family. 
Archival Donations

Archival donations to Norman Rockwell Museum includes several rare collections, including a complete set of J.C. Leyendecker’s 321 Saturday Evening Post covers and other magazine ephemera donated by Norman Rockwell Museum Trustee, William Hargreaves; a beautifully preserved collection of illustrated World War I posters provided by Norman Rockwell Museum Chairman Emeritus Thomas L. Pulling and Edward Pulling, grandson and great-grandson of the Honorable R.C. Leffingwell, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and head of the War Loan Organization; a rare collection of approximately 150 illustrated books featuring artwork by Howard Pyle and other illustrators courtesy of Museum President Robert T. Horvath; and a complete, pristine collection of 323 Post magazines featuring Norman Rockwell’s cover illustrations from John and Laura Savio, members of the Museum’s National Council. Museum Trustee Murray Tinkelman has donated an extensive collection of original photographs featuring noted twentieth century illustrators.

Also, illustrator Elwood Smith has donated an exceptional library collection including approximately 145 volumes focused on the art of illustration and cartooning. Keith Emerling photographs and photographic negatives of Jarvis Rockwell’s artwork are made available by the artist, who is Norman Rockwell’s oldest son. A large matted, black and white photo of Norman Rockwell painting in his studio by Don Spaulding has been provided by the artist, who was Rockwell’s student, and black and white reference photo of Maureen Riley Kane posing with Norman Rockwell’s painting ‘The Soda Jerk’ comes to us courtesy of Ms. Kane. A Gerlach Barklow calendar glass negative set has been donated by Tim and Michelle Smith, and 15 vintage Al McWilliams comic books have been provided by Richard and Cindy McWilliams.

The Museum is continuing to accept donations of Norman Rockwell art and important works of American illustration and related archival materials. 

8. ‘The Catch,’ by Norman Rockwell, 1919. Oil on canvas, 29" x 29". Cover illustration for The Country Gentleman, May 3, 1919. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections, gift of The Rodger P. Nordblom family.

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