By PAUL KENNEDY
STOCKBRIDGE, MASS. – Set on 36 acres of picturesque rolling countryside, the Norman Rockwell Museum houses the largest collection of original Rockwell art in the world.
The Museum is also home to the Norman Rockwell Archives, a collection of more than 100,000 items, including working photographs, letters, personal calendars, fan mail and business documents. In addition, the museum offers a free mobile app that offers, among other features, a unique look at the work of Rockwell as well as other noted illustrators. The app is available at the iTunes App Store and the Google Play App Store.
Founded in 1969 with the help of artist and his wife, Molly, Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to the enjoyment and study of Rockwell’s work and his contributions to society, popular culture and social commentary. It houses 998 original paintings and drawings by Rockwell, who lived in Stockbridge for the last 25 years of his life.
Rockwell’s Stockbridge studio, moved to the Museum site, is open to the public from May through October, and features original art materials, his library, furnishings and personal items. The building was originally located in the backyard of his home on South Street in Stockbridge. Toward the end of his life in 1976, Rockwell left the studio and its contents to the Museum. The building was moved to the grounds in 1986.
“What I would hope for our visitors,” says Mary Berle, chief educator of the museum, “is that their experience here would be one of belonging and making sense of a time in history and that they would leave feeling like they had a very special window into part of American history that invites us to think deeply about today and the future.”
One of the charms of the Museum is its location. Many of Rockwell’s world-renowned images were drawn from the surrounding community and its residents. For more information: visit www.nrm.org or call 413-298-4100.