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Procrastinator Alert! Final Weeks for Norman Rockwell at Detroit Institute of Arts Popular exhibition ends Sunday, May 31; museum to extend hours May 30 and 31

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

May 5, 2009 (Detroit)—Only four weeks remain for an up close and personal look at the art of Norman Rockwell, one of America’s most recognized and beloved artists. American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, an immensely popular exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), ends Sunday, May 31. Because the DIA is anticipating huge crowds on the final weekend, it is extending hours on Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31 until 8 p.m. with the last entry into the exhibition at 7 p.m.
 
     “Although we knew Norman Rockwell would be a big draw, we are very pleased at the overwhelmingly positive response from the public,” said David Penney, DIA vice president of exhibitions. “In addition to experiencing Rockwell’s remarkable talent as an artist, visitors can view a snapshot of American history through Rockwell’s 323 Saturday Evening Post covers on display.”

     American Chronicles explores Rockwell the artist, his images, and their impact and influence on American culture. From idyllic childhood scenes to commentaries on the post-war era and segregation, many paintings in Rockwell’s six decades of work have become American icons. A number of Rockwell’s signature works are among the 44 paintings and Saturday Evening Post covers in the exhibition: No Swimming (1921); Four Freedoms (1942); Christmas Homecoming (1948); Triple Self Portrait (1959) and the famous The Problem We All Live With
(1963), dealing with school desegregation, and was painted to mark the 10th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

     Rockwell’s paintings of families include storylines filled with love, affection and humor, and are free of difficulties such as disease, loneliness, and death. Rockwell knew that uplifting sentiments appealed to people’s emotions, and he used them effectively in his commercial and advertising work during his 47 years with the Saturday Evening Post.

     At the height of his fame and recognition, Rockwell sought out difficult themes of the day in what he referred to as “big pictures.”  Until the early 1960s, Rockwell’s illustrations served the needs of the conservative Saturday Evening Post, which during the early- and mid- 20th century celebrated white, middle class, small hometown values to the exclusion of other kinds of American experience. Rockwell left The Post for Look magazine in 1964, where he was able to take on issues of social consciousness, such as war, racism, poverty and injustice. He used his illustrative and storytelling skills to make injustice visible. His image of Ruby Bridges in The Problem We All Live With (1963) or three civil rights workers in Murder in Mississippi (1965) are still powerful reminders of America’s struggle for civil rights for all.

     Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors age 62+, $8 for ages 6-17, and free for DIA members. Tickets include museum admission and audio tours for adults and youth. Tickets are available at the DIA Box Office, at dia.org, or by phone at 1-866-342-8497. A $3.50 handling charge applies to tickets purchases on line or by phone.

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. American Chronicles has been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpieces Program. Publication support has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Media sponsorship has been provided by the Curtis Publishing Company and by the Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company.

Hours and Admission
Special hours for Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Regular museum hours: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for ages 6-17, and DIA members are admitted free. For membership information call 313-833-7971.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.