Norman Rockwell Museum



Norman Rockwell Museum is Open 7 days a week year-round

May – October and holidays:

open daily: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. (July/August 2015)
Rockwell’s Studio open May through October.

November – April: open daily:

Weekdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Holiday Closings:

The Museum is Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day





Members: FREE
Adults: $18.00
Seniors (65+): $17.00
College students with ID: $10.00
Children/teens 6 — 18: $6.00
Children 5 and under: FREE

Official Museum Website





Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Route 183
Stockbridge, MA 01262

413-298-4100 x 221

This section is devoted to scholarly essays on illustration – including articles on individual illustrators, the history of illustration, and illustration collections and important movements in history.

Presidents, Politics, & the Pen: The Influential Art of Thomas Nast

Known as the “Journal of Civilization,” Harper’s Weekly was an American political magazine published in New York from 1857-1916. The magazine was hugely popular thanks to its extensive use of illustrations and its broad editorial content. By the end of 1861, Harper’s had a circulation of 120,000, and was one of the leading magazines of

By | October 3rd, 2016|Essays on Illustration, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fashion Illustration: The Evolution of Style

Fashion Illustration: The Evolution of Style By Jackie Zhu Fashion illustration has always engaged audiences, originally serving a promotional role for fashion magazines, clothing designers, and department stores which sold their wares. This style of illustration is usually exaggerated to express and elevate the elegance and glamour of luxury life, but not too far from real-life situations. However, with the introduction of fashion photography in the early decades of the twentieth century, the fashion illustration market faced a downturn. Being just beautiful was not marketable anymore. The new generation of fashion illustrators has grown up with very different art influences compared to the previous, and the expanded market of globalization has drastically changed the aesthetic of fashion illustration in today’s world.

By | January 16th, 2015|Essays on Illustration|0 Comments

Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day

Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day  By Melissa Crowton  The modern picture book has come a long way. Not only has the medium and the format been explored, but the content has evolved to reflect the changing social consciousness. Ezra Jack Keats’s picture book, A Snowy Day came onto the scene at a time when  picture books needed a push forward to reflect the culture and social climate of the moment. Written in 1962, Keats’s work proved that racial diversity could be successful in mainstream publishing. Peter, the protagonist of the story, explores the snow that has fallen overnight in his city landscape, and carves his own pathway as he discovers its joys and fleeting qualities. This exploration of one’s environment is a timeless moment frozen during a shifting world that allowed the picture book to tell a beautiful story, but in a more honest depiction of the current world state.

By | January 14th, 2015|Essays on Illustration|0 Comments

Plastic Harmony

“PLASTIC HARMONY” By Meltem Sahin The exposure to the explosions of colors shapes and words yet filled with immense negative space, ones’ mind overwhelm with “À Toute Épreuve”. Roughly meaning foolproof, “À Toute Épreuve” is an illustrated poem book, created through the exchange and collaboration of two life-long friends French poet Paul Eluard and Catalan painter Joan Miro geniuses and sensations, guiding viewer from word to image, image to word interchangebly. Poems are written in French, and have not been translated in any other languages, preserving its uniqueness. The book written by Paul Eluard in 1930 and illustrated by Joan Miro from 1947 to 1958 is the landmark of 20th century illustrated books. It enthralled generations of illustrators, poets, painters, modernists and artists in general.

By | December 15th, 2014|Essays on Illustration, Student Research|0 Comments

A Rosie is a Rosie is a Rosie by Shreyas Krishnan

  Rosie the Riveter (detail) Norman Rockwell 1943 Rosie the Riveter was Norman Rockwell’s cover for the May 29, 1943 issue of Saturday Evening Post. We see an androgynous figure seated with the kind of practiced confidence that not many are capable of, even as her skin shines with grease and she sits in sensible, over-sized (yet cinched at the waist) overalls. She balances a heavy riveting machine with nonchalance, while eating a sandwich. Her lunchbox tells us that her name is Rosie. Her feet rest firmly on a yellowed copy of Mein Kampf, and her open visor mimics an angel’s halo. With the looming stars and stripes in the background, and her clothes which echo the colours of the flag, the mise en scene of this painting impresses upon even the most clueless of viewers, that this woman is of great importance to the American identity during World War II.

By | December 1st, 2014|Essays on Illustration, Student Research|0 Comments

Jessie Willcox Smith and the First Children’s Book Week Poster

By Ashley Yazdani In 1919, just after the First World War, a small group of Americans gathered to establish the first official Children’s Book Week, and to help communicate their cause they commissioned a poster from renowned illustrator Jessie Willcox Smith. This first poster, featuring a pair of children helping themselves to a bounty of books, encouraged Americans to have “More Books in the Home!” and paved the way for a literary event that is still celebrated to this day.

By | November 19th, 2014|Essays on Illustration|0 Comments

Witches Night Out

Owen Smith (b. 1964) Halloween New Yorker, 2000 Cover illustration for The New Yorker (November 6, 2000)   Halloween, or All Hallows Eve,  is one of the times that harmful spirits are said to be active. In the U.S., we take that concept to mean that witches, among other spirits, are out that night seeing what mischief they can get into. Since we link witches and Halloween together, it is not uncommon to see Halloween cover illustrations for popular magazines that show a witch out riding her broom, like Owen Smith’s New Yorker cover seen here.

By | November 18th, 2014|Essays on Illustration|0 Comments

The End

The illustrator Howard Pyle understood the essential elements of imagining the termination of a life or illustrating the passage of a lifetime. In the vignette seen below, he pictured an artist (himself really) seated under his umbrella painting the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga en plein air—in the open air. Standing behind the artist is the spirit of Ethan Allan, bearing witness to the past of the fort while watching over the artist recreating that life. In this scene fragment, Pyle ruminated about how the past influences the hand of the present.     Howard Pyle (1853-1911) Untitled Vignette, 1896 oil on board Delaware Art Museum , gift of Marion Mahony Manning in memory of Mary Poole Mahony, DAM 1991-165

By | August 20th, 2014|Essays on Illustration|0 Comments

Visual Thrills

        Robert Crumb (b. 1943) Cheap Thrills   1967 Album cover for Big Brother and the Holding Company   The cover art of the Cheap Thrills album is one of the icons of the 1960s counter culture, and easily gave cartoonist R. Crumb a place in the pantheon of illustration art. I love that the font Crumb utilized for the album title and the group’s name, looks like the visual equivalent of Janis Joplin’s sound—a voice that conveys the illusion that it is roughened by scotch and smoke. True to the function of illustration, the album cover illuminated some the songs offered inside: from the cigar-smoking, care-worn Bowler-hatted turtle reading the racing form illustrating “Turtle Blues,” to the black and white striped prison dress-wearing caricature of Janis dragging a “Ball and Chain” attached to her ankle behind her, Robert Crumb makes the imaginings of the songs sing over the surface of the album cover. Crumb’s recognizable sexualized femme figures with their pronounced nipples and resplendent boobs are as comfortably portrayed on this cover, letting us know, for example,  that she “Need(s) a Man to Love,” as they were in Crumb’s underground comix. This may have been Crumb’s first album cover design, but it certainly was not his last.

By | August 13th, 2014|Essays on Illustration|0 Comments

A Case of the Vapors

Shifting Visions of Vaporous Artistry There is something distinctive and magical about the way J. C. Leyendecker conveyed the fleeting properties of steam, smoke, and fog in his illustrations. His stylized (sometimes art nouveau-inspired) renditions of air-borne particulate matter first appeared while he was in Paris (1896-98) with his brother Frank X. studying at the Académie Julian following their training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.   J. C.’s January 1897 cover illustration for The Inland Printer is perhaps the earliest example revealing his fascination with picturing a visually ephemeral but decorative aspect of our environment. Here wind-moved clouds are expressed as thinly applied repetitive horizontal lines that seem to wiggle and flow over the surface of the armillary sphere that represents both the earth and the months of the year as indicated by the astrological symbols on the band adorning the width of the sphere. The breeze is just one part of the image that expresses movement—the fluttering of the angle’s clothing and the leaping of Apollo’s horses who drag the sun in their wake all move to support the heralding of the new day and the new year.          

By | August 7th, 2014|Essays on Illustration|0 Comments