American Artist Norman Rockwell is renowned for his relatable and honest illustrations of life. In fact, people throughout the world have been appreciating his visual story-telling for generations, stories that both convey and inspire kindness, respect, and social equity. We are fortunate to have an entire museum devoted to this down-to-earth American artist right here in the Berkshires. Come experience the power of art at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge MA – it’s the most popular year-round cultural attraction in the Berkshires.
Rockwell was born in 1894 in New York City, and he said he always wanted to be an artist. Growing up, Rockwell’s family would leave the city to spend summers in the country, and it was those summers on the farm that inspired many of Rockwell’s later works. At the tender age of 14, he enrolled in art classes at The Chase School of Art (now The New York School of Art). From there he left high school to study at The National Academy of Design and soon after The Art Students League.
Rockwell was very successful in his efforts, becoming the Director of Boys Life at just 17. On May 20, 1916, at 22 years of age, his art was published on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, an impressive accomplishment for one so young. From that point, Norman Rockwell’s career exploded. His art was seen in magazines, books, advertisements, calendars and more. His illustrations captured the every-day moments in life for those young and old, as well as the important moments in time, like President Kennedy’s assassination, and technological advances, such as the automobile, the telephone, and airplane and space travel. He captured the 20th century like no one else. Thanks to Normal Rockwell’s 1000+ paintings, we won’t forget.
“Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed.” – Norman Rockwell
Today, Norman Rockwell’s illustrations are still being used on the cover of The Post, and he is considered The Saturday Evening Post’s most famous illustrator.
This museum was founded in 1969 with the help of the artist himself, who spent the last 25 years of his life living in Stockbridge, MA, a town he loved. Many of Rockwell’s world-renowned images were drawn from the surrounding community and its residents. After spending the first 24 years at Old Corner House on Main Street in Stockbridge, the museum moved to its present-day location in 1993 where it sits on 36 acres overlooking the beautiful Housatonic River Valley. The museum’s beauty is evident inside and out.
The NRM contains an impressive 998 original paintings and drawings by the artist, the largest and most significant collection of his art in the world. In addition to his art, you’ll also discover a collection of 100,000+ items of his in the Norman Rockwell Archives, such as photographs, letters, calendars, fan mail and documents.
Norman Rockwell’s Studio
Originally located in Rockwell’s backyard on South Street in Stockbridge, this charming reddish sided building moved to the museum’s property in 1986 and still contains his original art materials, library, furnishings, and some personal items. The studio was Rockwell’s 21st studio in his lifetime, having had other studios in Brooklyn and New Rochelle, NY and Arlington, VT. But he did spend the last 21 years of his life here, from 1957 until 1978 when he passed away. Take a sneak peek inside the studio via slides and video tour or visit in person between May and October.
Collections & Exhibitions
- Pat Oliphant: Editorial Cartoons from the Nixon and Clinton Eras
- Selected works from “Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom”
- The Unity Project
- Norman Rockwell: Telling Stories
- Norman Rockwell: The Art of Persuasion
- Pops Peterson: Rockwell Revisited
- Norman Rockwell: Covering the Post
- Norman Rockwell: Murder in Mississippi
- Norman Rockwell’s 323 “Saturday Evening Post” Covers
This summer, from July 10 through October 31, 2021, take advantage of an unusual outdoor juried exhibition of contemporary sculpture and installation art by artists working in all media with the theme: Land of Enchantment. The outdoor exhibit will stem from the Museum’s indoor exhibit, Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Art, which opens June 12, 2021.
The NRM is only a 16-minute drive from The Cornell Inn. Plan your summer getaway with us to enjoy the beautiful Berkshires and experience the power of art at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. We are taking reservations for June 15, 2021 and beyond. Book now.
Header Photo: Norman Rockwell Museum. ©Walter Engels. All rights reserved