Vermont’s Norman Rockwell Museum Showcases US Cultural History
Rutland, Vermont - The Norman Rockwell Museum of Rutland, Vermont, houses a nationally recognized collection of Norman Rockwell's art and commemorates Norman Rockwell's Vermont years and the entire span and diversity of his career (1911-1978).
This chronological display of more than 2,500 Norman Rockwell magazine covers, advertisements, calendars, and other published works shows Rockwell's development as an illustrator and links his work to the political, economic, and cultural history of the United States.
Americans first knew and loved Norman Rockwell's art as it appeared on and between the covers of America's most popular magazines. These magazine covers, advertisements, and illustrations are at the heart of the Rutland museum collection.
The Saturday Evening Post covers, which most people are familiar with, represent a fraction of Rockwell's art. He also painted covers for such forgotten magazines as Judge, Leslie's, The Literary Digest, The Country Gentleman, and a host of others.
Though Rockwell loved doing these covers, his bread-and-butter was his advertising. He received twice as much for an ad as he did for a cover, and his art sold products as diverse as socks and steel. Illustrators of Rockwell's day were respected for their knowledge of public taste. For the most part, the companies left it to Rockwell's discretion as to how to sell their goods or services.
Norman Rockwell's first Saturday Evening Post cover, "The Baby Carriage," was different from that of other Post artists. For example, Rockwell used real people as models; he did not just concoct a "situation." Rockwell took much of what he learned from his beloved teacher George Bridgman from the Art Students League.
Bridgman wrote a book titled "The Human Machine" which was an illustrated treatise on the musles and motions of the body. Norman Rockwell poured over this book in order to understand the the motor cause and effect. You can notice in this cover that the figures move naturally. The baby-sitter pushes against the carriage with proper displacement. All the boys "fit" into the composition without appearing to be "squeezed" in, and Rockwell is pictorially aware of the post requirements of its logo, parallel bars and bottom cover lines.
The Norman Rockwell Museum of Rutland, Vermont, was established in 1976. It is located in Rutland at the crosswords of Vermont on Route 4, 2 miles East of Route 7.
Open daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Museum's Gift Shop has a wide selection of Norman Rockwell art for purchase: prints, figurines, plates, Boy Scout prints, Saturday Evening Post covers, and more.