Unwrapped: Gifts from the Peter Norton Family Christmas Project, 1988-2018
October 26, 2019-October 4, 2020
Retired computer entrepreneur Peter Norton (Norton Antivirus Software) is a contemporary art collector as well as an active participant in various civic and philanthropic activities. In 1988, the Norton Family Christmas Project began commissioning artists to create original, multiple-edition works that were mailed as holiday greetings to friends, colleagues, and selected institutions. In 2017, the CRMA received the bulk of these wonderful holiday greetings from Director Emeritus Terry Pitts and his wife Kathy Hall.
The objects and artists’ books that comprise the Project collection are incredibly varied. A sense of whimsy runs through many of the pieces: salt and pepper shakers become snow globes, a music box exhorts us to be silent. Many works also have a sociopolitical focus, addressing issues as varied as slavery, AIDS, and gender identity. Taken together, the Norton Family Christmas Project objects and artists’ books provide a wonderful snapshot of the last thirty years of activity in the art world at large, presenting the work of both emerging and more established artists. The 2018 edition of the Norton Family Christmas Project was the last and ended the series.