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Norman Rockwell: Fact & Fiction
September 12, 2009 - January 3, 2010
Election Day, 1944
, watercolor and gouache, 14 x 33 1/2 in., Museum purchase, Save-the-Art fund, 2007.037.1.
In 2007, the citizens of Cedar Rapids rallied together to purchase a series of watercolors destined for the auction block in New York. These five watercolors, by acclaimed 20th century American artist Norman Rockwell, depicted scenes associated with an election day and were created specifically for the November 4, 1944 issue of the
Saturday Evening Post
. To complete the
commission, Rockwell traveled to a quintessential Midwestern town, Cedar Rapids, to study local citizens as models for his series of images.
In the 65 years since his visit, numerous anecdotes and stories have arisen about the artist's time in Cedar Rapids and the creation of this work. This exhibition uses these five, newly conserved and restored watercolors and a related oil painting from the Norman Rockwell Museum, along with numerous photographs taken by local photographer Wes Panek for Rockwell, to investigate the many facts and fictions associated with Rockwell's visit and this set of watercolors.
Norman Rockwell: Fact & Fiction
has been made possible in part by Rockwell Collins, Candace Wong, and local "Friends of Norman Rockwell." General exhibition and educational support has been provided by The Momentum Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
Friends of Norman Rockwell: Wilma E. Shadle, Howard and Mary Ann Kucera, Jean Imoehl, Ben and Katie Blackstock, Marilyn Sippy, Chuck and Mary Ann Peters, Phyllis Barber, Ann Pickford, Anthony and Jo Satariano, Barbara A. Bloomhall, Virginia C. Rystrom, Jeff and Glenda Dixon, Robert F. & Janis L. Kazimour Charitable Lead Annuity Trust, Fred and Mary Horn, Mrs. Edna Lingo, John and Diana Robeson, Jewel M. Plumb, Carolyn Pigott Rosberg, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Buchacek, Dan and Anne Pelc, Mary Brunkhorst, and John and Diana Robeson.
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Barbara Bradley asked me to post the following conemmt on her behalf: Somebody Loves Me demonstrates one characteristic of Parker's work that he shared with greats like Rockwell, his spot-on selection of period clothing, furniture, and props. Parker had twenty one four-drawer legal sized cabinets filled with scrap reference files. . Research not only informed him; It inspired him.How he used realities of different times and places for concept and design purposes is exciting. For example, the apron, like everything else in the picture, is accurate for the period in style and shape, adds to the content and the design. I wonder if he latched on to a heart shaped bib or merely changed the shape a bit to add to the theme. The Dandy is also a typical Parker design/concept gem.And, what fun he had with the hearts, using them for both the story and the long curve that followed the girl's back to continue on to the back accents of shoes. Another typical parkertouch. . . incorporating his signature as part of the design by placing it in a heart.
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