Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

May 11, 2018

PREVIEW: Norman Rockwell Museum, Pittsfield, MA

Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell and the Narrative Tradition
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA

This summer, Norman Rockwell Museum presents the first comprehensive exhibition to look at the work of master illustrators Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell in relation to the history of Western art. With more than 60 works by 25 American and European painters, along with more than 300 digital representations of some 50 other artists, Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell and the Narrative Tradition will reveal the lineage connecting American illustration to some 500 years of European painting through the long line of teachers who have passed along their wisdom, knowledge, and techniques to generations of creators.

The exhibit occupies four galleries, with each artist’s work displayed in one gallery.  The final gallery of Keepers of the Flame sums up some of the exhibition’s major themes, featuring works of these three artists among others.

Keepers of the Flame traces the student-to-teacher lineage of the above-mentioned artists to their artistic forbears reaching back to the Italian Renaissance. In so doing, it shows how these illustrators, all of whom painted with the same principals and techniques as their artistic ancestors created what would prove to be iconic imagery and unforgettable narratives that defined them as keepers of the flame of traditional Western painting.

The opening will be held Saturday, July 14 at 5:30pm with commentary by exhibition curator Dennis Nolan at 6pm.The event is free for members, $20 for not-yet members.

The Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, which was Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. For information about the exhibit and Museum check