Norman Rockwell Museum is sad to learn and report of the passing of Joyce. K. Schiller, the Museum’s first curator of the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies.
Schiller was a passionate and consummate scholar of illustration art, having devoted a lifetime of study to the genre. She joined Norman Rockwell Museum in 2009 from the Delaware Art Museum, and for five years built the foundational work of the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, establishing a firm base of scholarship around the Museum’s central mission. She retired from her position as Rockwell Center Curator in August 2014 to devote more time to be with her husband, Lewis Schiller, and her own research.
A consummate curator, Ms. Schiller carefully researched the Museum’s illustration and Rockwell collections, providing significant new documentation that will remain a lasting legacy. Her many outstanding exhibitions include Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, R.O. Blechman: The Inquiring Line, It’s a Dog’s Life: Norman Rockwell Paints Man’s Best Friend, and many installations featuring the Museum’s acquisitions, among others. The Museum’s current exhibition, Masters of the Golden Age: Harvey Dunn and His Students was initiated by Schiller with the South Dakota Museum of Art and finished by the Museum’s Chief Curator, Stephanie Plunkett.
Schiller also joined Plunkett in teaching a graduate Critical Seminar in Illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she advanced curriculum relating to American Visual Culture and shared her vast knowledge with artists and future scholars.
A friend to countless collectors and fans in the world of illustration art, Ms. Schiller responded to hundreds of inquiries from art collectors, academics, staff, and the general public each year—an invaluable resource for all.
Norman Rockwell Museum sends our condolences to Ms. Schiller’s friends and family, and appreciation for all her valuable work with our institution.