Art Critic, Norman Rockwell, 1955, Oil on canvas, 39  ½

Art Critic, Norman Rockwell, 1955, Oil on canvas, 39 ½” x 36 ¼”, Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, April 16, 1955, ©1955 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum

American Chronicles: The Art of  Norman Rockwell

February 26–May 30, 2011

A rare exhibition of Norman Rockwell’s iconic artworks makes its only stop in the Northwest when it comes to Tacoma Art Museum February 26-May 30, 2011. American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwellcelebrates the full range of Rockwell’s artwork, including 44 paintings and 323 original Saturday Evening Post covers. In addition to the artworks on view, materials from the Museum’s archives depict how Rockwell worked: from preliminary sketches, photographs, color studies, and detailed drawings to the finished painting.

Norman Rockwell created unforgettable images of the innocence, courage, history and hopes of American life in the 20th century. Expertly weaving stories throughout his images, he proved that he was a consummate visual storyteller with a finely honed sense of what made an image successful in the new, rapidly changing era of mass media. Rockwell’s unique artistic legacy, established during 65 years of painting, spans some 4,000 works of art. From touching scenes of everyday life to powerful images documenting the American Civil Rights movement and reflections on a world at war, Rockwell captured the American experience through his images, many of them now icons of American culture.

American Chronicles traces the evolution of Rockwell’s art and iconography from reflections on childhood innocence in No Swimming(1921) through World War II and his powerful depiction of the Four Freedoms (1942), to consciousness-raising images like The Problem We All Live With (1963), which documented the traumatic realities of desegregation in the South.