Lacking anything else to do, and having seen a gigantihuge poster for the event on the side of the building, I went to the Orlando Museum of Art today and had a look at the Norman Rockwell Exhibit they currently have going on. Officially titled American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, the exhibit features some of Rockwell’s original paintings, in addition to a large collection of magazine covers from The Saturday Evening Post, with whom he was an illustrator with for over forty years. There’s also a brief documentary on Norman Rockwell at the beginning of the exhibit, which I’d encourage attendees to watch, because I found it quite informative, especially when it discussed and showed Rockwell’s technique in creating his works. I didn’t realise it, but he employed actual people to pose for his paintings, and when the camera became more widespread, he would use photographs of people with costumes and props, including himself.
Americans are more familiar with his Post illustrations, but I was surprised to learn late in his career Rockwell focused on more of the tumultuous contemporary issues that characterised the 1960s. One of the works on exhibit at OMA that exemplifies this is Murder in Mississippi, a powerful painting depicting the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi. The little picture on this page is nothing in comparison to seeing the work in person, which is just steps away from another Rockwell piece I remember from my history books entitled The Problem We All Live With. Work such as this show that Norman Rockwell was not only an ingenious illustrator, but a true American artist.
The Norman Rockwell exhibit will be continuing until the 26th of this month, and the Orlando Museum of Art will be open extended hours until then: 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 11 am until 5 pm. If you have a college student ID, admission is $9. Otherwise, it’s $12 for the regular adult admission.
I was feeling particularly peppy and sprung for the college student year membership for $30. Hey, as long as I’m still paying loans, I should still be eligible for a student discount, right? It’s not like they took my student ID from me when they mailed me my diploma. Besides, I want to see the upcoming exhibition, The World of William Joyce, which begins on the 18th of this month. William Joyce is the guy who did Rolie Polie Olie, as well as other children’s books. Sometime last year, I missed out on an exhibit at the OMA featuring children’s book illustration, but I won’t miss out on this one, thanks to my spankin’ new membership. It’ll be going on until August 31st this year, so I won’t have an excuse, especially since I will be moving into a new place not too far from the museum starting in June!