Friday, March 15, 2013

Norman Rockwell Exhibit

Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell
This iconic painting was done by perhaps America's most beloved painter of the 20th Century.  It currently is in the permanent collection of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Right now Rosie has guests.

The museum is currently host to over original 50 paintings and sketches as well as EVERY Saturday Evening Post cover that Rockwell did, and that's over 300.  The exhibit is stunning.  There are a couple of paintings from the 60's that will stop you in your tracks.  They are not what you would consider typical Rockwell subject matter.  There are also a few examples of his very early work (1914). NO photography of any kind is allowed in this exhibit area.  Non-flash photography is allowed in the rest of the facility.  Rosie is not a part of this exhibit.  She's in one of the main galleries and can be photographed.
I did capture a couple of images before I noticed the sign that prohibited such activities.

Rockwell was the consummate illustrator.  His attention to detail is jaw dropping.  One cannot help but be impressed by the sheer volume of his work. which only a fraction is on display here. This exhibit cannot not be completely appreciated in a single visit.  It is a MUST see for anyone within a hundred miles of Bentonville, Arkansas.  Tickets are $12.00 and they are for a specific time.  You can stay in the exhibit as long as you like, but they are simply trying to stagger the crowd throughout the day.  The tickets are available online.  You can purchase them, print them and bring them with you when you come.
My wife and I got to the museum when it opened this morning at 11:00.  We had a leisurely lunch in the dining area and made our way to the exhibit for our noon reservations.  We spent about an hour and a half in the Rockwell exhibit, then strolled through one of the other galleries before heading home.  By the time we left, the dining area was packed and there was a decent line at the entrance to the exhibit gallery.  Regardless, it is an event that anyone in the area should not miss.

I found the image I was looking for.  This is a painting by Rockwell that depicts the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964.  It is an incredibly powerful piece and this little image doesn't do it justice.  The original paining is probably 4 by 6 feet.  Like I said, it's not what you would consider typical Rockwell subject matter.


  1. I am always inspired by Norman Rockwell's work.

  2. I would go if I were closer. I love Norman Rockwell's work. He captured whatever he saw, and captures it well. Excellent. I'm glad you got to go.

    Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

  3. Crystal Bridges is a national treasure and we are so lucky to have so close to Tulsa.

  4. Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post covers are iconic to my generation. I have a book of his illustrations but I would love to see an exhibit like this one.

  5. wow...really great illustrations :)

  6. I love Norman Rockwell...I've been to his museum up in Western Massachusetts. I have a series of his "baseball" themed prints hanging in my home.