The Polk Museum of Art is thrilled to announce its newest exhibition, “Rockwell/Wyeth: Icons of Americana”, opening on January 27, 2024. Featuring 40 paintings by Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth – along with the complete set of 321 covers of “The Saturday Evening Post” illustrated by Rockwell – this loan-based exhibition showcases the work of two of the most celebrated figures in American art, whose vivid illustrations captured the imaginations of Americans throughout the 20th century and are still admired for their nostalgic qualities to this day. This exhibition, exclusive to Polk Museum of Art audiences and developed in partnership with the National Museum of American Illustration, offers a rare juxtaposition of Rockwell and Wyeth examined side by side as a principal scholarly focus.
Wyeth (1882-1945) and Rockwell (1894-1978), each with a distinctive style, rose to prominence and national acclaim in different eras, but both became household names through the everyday familiarity and accessibility of their work to Americans everywhere. While the nature of the artists’ commercial work was wide-ranging, from advertisements to magazine covers, as the exhibition explores in depth, Wyeth is best known as a prolific book illustrator, who invigorated the pages of Scribner Classics like “Treasure Island” and “Robin Hood.” Likewise, Rockwell is synonymous with “The Saturday Evening Post” and the cover illustrations he produced for it, art that sought simultaneously to sell magazines and to reflect shifting American interests and values across several decades.
“Rockwell and Wyeth remain among the biggest names in the history of American art, and, after years of planning, we are excited to unveil this original, scholarly exhibition to our visitors,” said H. Alexander Rich, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum. “So many of our shared visions of a seemingly simpler, not-too-distant American past — however idealized they might be — have been shaped through the prism of Rockwell and Wyeth’s illustrations.”
“Rockwell/Wyeth: Icons of Americana” will be on view in the Museum’s Dorothy Jenkins Gallery, Harper Family Gallery, and Perkins Gallery from January 27 to May 26, 2024.
Single Source Travelling Exhibition organized by: PAN Art Connections.