Laurie Norton Moffatt, CEO and Director of the Norman Rockwell Museum, plays a pivotal role in the preservation and celebration of Norman Rockwell's legacy, a task that gains new dimensions with the launch of the ICONIC x Norman Rockwell Museum x Norman Rockwell Family Studio Sessions: The Norman Rockwell Collection.
This innovative initiative delves deep into Rockwell's archives, bringing to the public and blockchain never-before-seen works from the mid-twentieth century, produced in partnership with the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Norman Rockwell Family. The collection highlights Rockwell's meticulous multi-step artistic process, which includes thumbnail sketches, staged photography sessions, painted color studies, and full-scale drawings. These process works, when viewed alongside Rockwell's masterpieces, provide unparalleled insights into the imagination and intent of this influential artist, revealing his labor of love at each stage.
The collection features eight curated pieces that explore Rockwell's creative process, each accompanied by a limited-edition print and a matching digital collectible (NFT), serving as a certificate of authenticity and authenticated by the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Norman Rockwell Family. This venture not only bridges Rockwell's artistic practice with the 21st century through the blockchain but also expands access to his works, thus continuing to impact and inspire a new generation of collectors and art enthusiasts. The proceeds from this project will support the Museum's mission to conserve and present illustration art, promote broad public access, and inspire scholarship, as well as the Rockwell Family’s stewardship of the artist’s work and legacy.
The Norman Rockwell Museum itself, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, was founded with the help of Norman and Molly Rockwell. It holds the world's largest and most significant collection of Rockwell art, archival materials, and memorabilia, as well as over 20,000 works by other notable American illustrators. The Museum is dedicated to illuminating the power of American illustration art to reflect and shape society, advancing the values of kindness, respect, and social equity portrayed by Rockwell, and aims to educate, enrich, and inspire a diverse, inclusive, and equitable world.
Norman Rockwell, through his extensive oeuvre, stands out as a prominent figure in American art, capturing the essence of American life and culture. His work, characterized by humor and wit, provided levity during challenging times like the World Wars and the Great Depression. Rockwell's art often featured everyday situations imbued with optimism, hope, and humor, resonating deeply with a broad audience.
Rockwell's depiction of American life was not just idyllic but also touched on more profound societal issues. He created a world that was "Rockwellian" — a term denoting harmony, patriotism, optimism, and good-natured fun. However, his work also acknowledged societal struggles, particularly in his later years when he began addressing more substantive matters like the civil rights movement.
His early career was significantly influenced by his work with the Boy Scouts of America, for which he produced annual calendar illustrations for over five decades. This early experience shaped his artistic style and commitment to community-oriented values.
Rockwell's association with "The Saturday Evening Post" marked a significant phase in his career. He was known for capturing the essence of American culture in his covers for the magazine, which were eagerly anticipated by millions of Americans. His covers were more than just illustrations; they were windows into the American spirit, showcasing the country's diverse experiences and emotions.
Rockwell's creative process was meticulous and grounded in realism. He often used photography as a tool to capture the essence of his subjects, ensuring accuracy and depth in his illustrations. This approach allowed him to create his trademark animated faces and detailed scenarios that resonated with the public.
Norman Rockwell's art, spanning several decades, reflects a journey from capturing the light-hearted aspects of American life to addressing the deeper, more complex societal issues. His work remains a testament to his ability to connect with people through art, capturing the essence of American culture and its evolving nature.