Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA: 50 Years of Illustration Art

White granite block background with text: Spend a day at a local museum.This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Norman Rockwell Museum located in Stockbridge, MA. Celebrating its 50th year of showcasing illustration art, the museum is a definite “must see” on a fall trip to the Berkshires. Rockwell, most well-known for his cover illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post, lived and worked in Stockbridge from 1953 until his death in 1978. Designated in 2008 as the official state artist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Rockwell’s work inbues the fabric of American culture, having papered the living rooms of many Americans for more than 50 years through his colorful illustrations of life in America.

The charming museum, located on a knoll overlooking the Housatonic River Valley, is perhaps among the most popular in the area. Rockwell derived much of his inspiration from the surrounding towns and villages of the Berkshires and its local residents. Hence, his work is much beloved by locals whose parents and grandparents may well be depicted in his work.

Although the biggest draw to the museum is a chance to view the 323 original cover tear sheets of the Saturday Evening Post, several other current exhibits are equally enchanting and enlightening. For instance, Norman Rockwell: Private Moments for the Masses, on view through October 27, 2019, allows the visitor an intimate look at the artist’s personal life, his professional life, and the people and moments that shaped his view of the world.

Also on view through October 27, Woodstock to the Moon: 1969 Illustrated depicts the pivotal events that shaped one of the most cataclysmic years in U.S. history. From the historic landing of a man on the moon to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy to the concert at Woodstock, labeled 3 days of peace and music, the exhibit portrays how illustrations of news events reflected the changing times.

Celebrating 50 years of illustration, the Norman Rockwell Museum hosts a series of daily gallery talks on the art of the artist, guided property walks through the 36-acre property including the artist’s original Stockbridge studio, and occasionally an opportunity to meet with and learn what it was like to pose for the artist.

Located just 15 miles north of the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast, the Norman Rockwell Museum is open daily year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Plan a fall visit to the Berkshires for an opportunity to view the iconic works of this much-loved American artist.

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