Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

Huth, Boeing, Salmon and Haws Galleries
November 5, 2017 – January 28, 2018

Above Image: Bill Scovill, Photographer, Reference Photograph of Norman Rockwell, Norman Rockwell says ‘Pan American Was My Magic Carpet Around the World,’ advertisement for Pan American Airways, Inkjet print, Norman Rockwell Collection, ©1956 Norman Rockwell Family Agency.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a 20th-century American author, painter and illustrator whose works appealed to a broad population in the United States for its reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over a period of nearly five decades.

Finding success at a young age, Rockwell became the art director of Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America in his teenage years.  At age 21, Rockwell set up a studio with the cartoonist Clyde Forsythe and in 1916, the 22-year-old Rockwell painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post.  Over the next 47 years, another 321 Rockwell covers would appear on the cover of the Post.

Early in his career, Rockwell would hire professional models to pose for the characters in his paintings. However, beginning in the mid-1930s he embraced photography and began using friends and neighbors rather than professional models.  For Rockwell, already known as “the kid with the camera eye,” photography was more than an artist’s aid.  The familiarity with his new subjects paired with the camera’s ability to capture a fleeting expression or freeze a difficult pose, brought a new flesh-and-blood realism to his work and opened a window to the keenly observed authenticity that defines his art.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first exhibition to delve deeply into Rockwell’s richly detailed study photographs, created by the artist as references for his iconic paintings. Organized with author and guest curator, Ron Schick, the exhibition reveals a rarely seen yet fundamental aspect of Rockwell’s creative process and unveils a significant new body of Rockwell imagery in an unexpected medium and showcases the behind-the-scenes shots as works of art themselves.

The exhibition, Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera, is organized and circulated by the Norman Rockwell Museum and brings together prints of Rockwell’s study photographs and original paintings and drawings from their permanent collection.

Members’ Lecture & Reception:

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Presentation: 6 – 7 p.m.; Opening Party: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Members: $50 / Non-members $100

Cocktails and Passed Canapés by Chef Narvell
String Trio from the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra

Tickets go on sale October 20th.  Please RSVP by November 6th either online or by calling 256-535-4350 ext. 208.

Enjoy reminiscences of former Rockwell model, Mary Whalen Leonard, as well as Don Trachte, Jr’s dramatic tale of how his late father caused a sensation in the art world!

Cocktail Attire

Honorary Chairs:
Mayor and Mrs. Tommy Battle
The Museum Board of Trustees

Opening Party Committee:
Carolyn Gandy, Samantha Omlie, Narvell Patton, Kathi Tew

Artists’ Demonstrations 

Discover Rockwell’s masterful use of visual storytelling through these engaging art demonstrations. Learn how reference photographs and drawings are used to create expressive portraits.

Robert Bean – Thursday, November 30, 2017 – 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Renee Prasil – Thursday, January 18, 2018 –  5:30-7:00 p.m.

Thank You Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors:

Julie and Bob Broadway & Family

Lead Corporate Sponsor:

Exhibition Sponsors:

Kathy and C.H. “Tony” Chan
Butch and Jerry Damson

Connie and Rusty Stephenson
Dr. Ruth and Allen Yates

Friends of Rockwell:

Dr. and Mrs. Brian M. Scholl

Media Sponsors:

Alabama Media Group
Curtis Licensing

Additional Support Provided by:

The Alabama State Council on the Arts
Altherr Howard Design
The Huntsville Museum of Art Guild
The Keelan Family Foundation