Illustration Exhibitions

This listing includes exhibits at Rockwell Center’s partner institutions and illustration exhibits at institutions around the country.

Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

To mark the anniversary of everyone’s favorite schoolgirl, Madeline, this exhibition celebrates Ludwig Bemelmans’s legacy. Drawings from each of the six Madeline books will be on view, plus a generous cross-section of his other artwork for children and adults. A Bemelmans bar brought back from Paris, delightful fabric designs, and memorabilia like the Bad Hat’s original hat are just a few of the treasures that will be on view.  Madeline at the Paris Flower Market © 1955 by Ludwig Bemelmans. TM and © Ludwig Bemelmans, LLC

 A Genteel Tradition: The Art of Alice Bolam Preston

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

December 16, 2014 – May 3, 2015 The Carle is pleased to announce an exhibition of the work of Alice Bolam Preston (1888-1958) taken from the museum’s holdings which are the generous gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel. The exhibition will be on view in the central gallery from December 16, 2014 through May 3, 2015. Preston was an illustrator, designer, and craftsperson who lived in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. She was especially known for children’s book illustration and worked primarily for Houghton Mifflin in the teens and twenties—at the end of what is often considered the “golden age” of illustration. Among the books she illustrated were Adventures in Mother Goose Land (1920), Peggy in Her Blue Frock (1921), The Little Man with One Shoe (1921), Humpty Dumpty House (1921), The Valley of Color Days (1924), and Whistle for Good Fortune (1940). Her work reflects a strong interest in fairies and resonates with some of the premier British artists working at the time, including Henry Ford, Harry Clarke, Charles Robinson, and Jessie Marion King; closer to home, she worked in the orbit of Jessie Willcox Smith. Preston also did occasional magazine cover illustration for House Beautiful between 1925 and 1958.  Illustration © Alice Bolam Preston. Collection of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel.

 Jamie WyethJamieWyethKleberg_000

January 17 – April 5 This major retrospective of the art of Jamie Wyeth (born 1946) features more than 100 works. Jamie Wyeth examines six decades of the artist’s career and charts the evolution of his creative process from his earliest childhood drawings through recurring themes inspired by the people, places and objects that populate his world. For more information, please click here.    Image ©Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946) Kleberg, 1984. oil on canvas. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection


 Tall Tales, Short Tales, and Tales from Around the World: The Art of Uri Shulevitz

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

March 17 – June 7, 2015 The Carle is pleased to announce Tall Tales, Short Tales, and Tales from Around the World: The Art of Uri Shulevitz, a retrospective of the work of the acknowledged master Uri Shulevitz in celebration of his 80th year. The exhibition will open in mid-March of 2015 and close in early June. Organized by Chief Curator, Nick Clark, the exhibition will comprise approximately 90 works surveying Shulevitz’s career as a picture-book artists and will include a selection of his independent art. Shulevitz garnered the Caldecott medal for his Fool of the World and the Flying Ship in 1969 and won Caldecott honors in 1979, 1999, and 2009—most recently for his How I Learned Geography, a poignant memoir of the trials of his early life and how a map fueled his curiosity and imagination. Working in a wide variety of media, the artist demonstrates remarkable versatility, as he interprets an equally wide range of literature. A profusely illustrated catalogue with an essay by Clark will accompany the exhibition.

 wyethAndrew Wyeth: Portrait Studies

 Farnsworth Museum

April 20, 2014April 26, 2015

This exhibition features many studies in particular of portraits done by the artist Andrew Wyeth. Many of the finished works are on display in the museum’s adjacent Hadlock Gallery.



The Wyeths, Maine and the Sea

Farnsworth Museum

April 20, 2014April 26, 2015

The art of the Wyeths – N.C., Andrew and Jamie – is a direct result of their familiarity with and fascination for life along midcoast Maine, reaching back to N.C.’s decision to bring his family to the area in 1920. The Wyeths’ interests have included the coast’s dramatic shoreline and islands, including Monhegan, the lives of fishermen and farmers, and the boats, houses, barns, lighthouses and other structures scattered throughout the midcoast. Their interest in these subjects is part of a long-standing tradition of work done by artists and artisans in Maine since the eighteenth century. In addition to works by the Wyeths, the exhibition will also include a selection of paintings by James G. Babbidge, George Bellows, Walter Dean, James Fitzgerald, Rockwell Kent, Fitz Henry Lane, William Edward Norton, William Pierce Stubbs, Frederick Waugh, and Andrew Winter; and a selection of ship models that include the Red Jacket clipper ship, the seven master schooner Thomas Lawson, and the only known ship model by John Haley Bellamy. Organized by Farnsworth Registrar Angela Waldron.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of: Anna Mae & George Twigg, III.  Andrew Wyeth (American, 1917–2009) Young Fisherman and Dory, Study for To The Westward, 1944, drybrush on paper, 29¾” x 39¼”, museum purchase, 1954.906 ©Andrew Wyeth


AbbeyEdwin Austin Abbey’s Shakespeare: From the Yale University Art Gallery

Farnsworth Museum

April 20, 2014April 26, 2015 To celebrate both the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, and the 125th anniversary of the Rockland Shakespeare Society, the Farnsworth Art Museum is presenting an exhibition of the works of Edwin Austin Abbey, a Philadelphia-born artist who established lasting fame as America’s foremost illustrator of Shakespeare’s plays. This exhibition is drawn from the largest and most important collection of Abbey’s works, numbering more than 2,500, in the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.  In 1897, renowned for his work as an illustrator of Shakespeare’s works, Abbey was awarded an honorary M.A. degree by Yale University.  In 1937 Abbey’s estate was donated to the Yale University Art Gallery. Founded in 1832, the Gallery is one of the oldest public art museums in the United States.  Edwin Austin Abbey; Malvolio in the dungeon, Twelfth Night – Act III, Scene IV, 1891, Gouache, Composition board, 21 1/8 x 14 3/8 in., Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Collection, 1937.1053

Scouting-Museum_Weapons_for_LibertyNational Scouting Museum

Norman Rockwell and the Art of Scouting

On view “My experience on Boys’ Life helped me build some confidence in myself at a time when I needed courage, needed to believe in myself.” —Norman Rockwell At the age of nineteen, Norman Rockwell was appointed art editor of Boys’ Life magazine. Over the course of sixty-four years, the artist produced numerous Scouting illustrations for use on calendars, magazines, handbooks, and posters. Part of a long tradition of artists who helped to shape and define the image of the Boy Scouts of America, Rockwell imbued his Scouting subjects with a sense of higher purpose inspired by the organization’s principles and practice. For more than a century, the Boy Scouts have relied on illustrators to translate Scouting life into striking visual narratives. Featuring the work of Norman Rockwell, Joseph Christian Leyendecker, Walt Disney Studios, Howard Chandler Christy, Dean Cornwell, and Joseph Csatari, this new permanent installation takes a closer look at the artists behind America’s largest youth organization.

WolfsonianThe Wolfsonian

The Children’s Crusade

December 1, 2014March 15, 2015
During the First World War, children of all ages were targeted by propaganda designed to instill patriotism and provide them with a sense that their contributions were also important to the war effort. Education pamphlets, coloring books, nursery rhyme books, games, and juvenile literature were published to reach young audiences, while musical scores, magazines, and posters used images of children to motivate adults to action.


Wolfsonian-PropogandaThe Wolfsonian

Pose and Propaganda: Political Posters from the Contemporary Middle East and Afghanistan

November 14, 2014March 8, 2015 The physical poses of individuals in images are rendered to communicate culturally specific meanings readily understood by their intended audiences.  Using contemporary political posters from the collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Dexter Filkins, this installation considers a range of bodily gestures and expressions deployed to influence the values viewers bring to bear on this widely popular medium, and includes posters from The Wolfsonian’s collection to illustrate the geographic and temporal range of this graphic strategy.

Harvey Dunn and His Students

Norman Rockwell Museum November 7, 2015 through May 30, 2016 An exceptional and prolific illustrator of America’s Golden Age, Harvey Dunn (1884-1952) was a prodigy of legendary artist Howard Pyle who became an admired teacher in his own right. Born in a claim shanty in Manchester, South Dakota, he took classes at the Chicago Art Institute before studying with Pyle and opening his own studio in Wilmington, Delaware. This first major exhibition of Dunn’s art, organized in conjunction with the South Dakota Museum of Art, South Dakota State University, will feature his stunning painterly illustrations for the prominent periodicals of his day, including Scribner’s, Harper’s, Collier’s Weekly, Century, Outing, and The Saturday Evening Post.

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell

Fondazione Museum, Rome, Italy November 2014 – February 2015 Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida March 7 through  May 31, 2015 Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah November 19, 2015 through February 13, 2016 One of the most popular American artists of the past century, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a keen observer of human nature and a gifted storyteller. For nearly seven decades, while history was in the making all around him, Rockwell chronicled our changing society in the small details and nuanced scenes of ordinary people in everyday life, providing a personalized interpretation—albeit often an idealized one—of American identity. His depictions offered a reassuring visual haven during a time of momentous transformation as our country evolved into a complex, modern society. Rockwell’s contributions to our visual legacy, many of them now icons of American culture, have found a permanent place in our national psyche.

Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney

Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford, Connecticut February 1, 2015 – June 20, 2015 Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time James Gurney’s Dinotopia bring the worlds of science and the imagination to life by chronicling Arthur and Will Denison’s remarkable experiences on a lost island in vibrant color and meticulous detail. Recounted in words and pictures in the best-selling book series, Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time (1992), Dinotopia: The World Beneath (1995), and Dinotopia: First Flight (1999), the artist’s compelling tale has engaged and enchanted readers by inviting them to explore the far reaches of a mysterious destination. Waterfall City, the island’s center of learning, The Hatchery, birthplace of many of Dinotopia’s prehistoric inhabitants, and The Forbidden Mountains, where dinosaurs dare not venture, are just a few of the places described in Arthur Denison’s fictional journal and in the outstanding works on view. Inspired by a deep and abiding interest in archaeology, lost civilizations, and the art of illustration, James Gurney invites viewers to enter a fantastical world in which dinosaurs and humans live side-by-side. His luminous paintings, beautifully crafted drawings and hand-made models, which are featured in this exhibition, explore the wonders of the distant past through the lens of the imagination. The artist’s original New York Times bestseller, Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, appears in eighteen languages with over two million copies sold. Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara, is the next installment in the series.

Norman Rockwell’s 323 Saturday Evening Post Covers

In the minds of many people, The Saturday Evening Post and Norman Rockwell are synonymous. Americans, who lived through the rapid growth and change of the twentieth century, view the Rockwell covers as an identifiable and comfortable image of their life in the United States. At the start of his career, Norman Rockwell’s secret ambition was to have his work published on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. He viewed the Post as the greatest show window in America for an illustrator. Rockwell’s career with the Post lasted 47 years.

Center for Historic American Visual Culture
Although AAS has no physical exhibition spaces, it has created several online   exhibitions in recent years. Check out for various online virtual exhibitions.

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