Norman Rockwell: Boy Scouts

October 5, 2013 through January 12, 2014

Good FriendsThis exhibition features selected works by America's quintessential illustrator, Norman Rockwell. Drawing upon the archival collections of the Norman Rockwell Museum, as well as additional oil-on-canvas paintings from the National Scouting Museum, this special exhibition offers a glimpse into the artist's body of work for the Boy Scouts of America. With over 75 pieces including paintings, drawings, gelatin silver prints, book covers, personal artist's supplies, early scouting artifacts and more, this fascinating installation celebrates the organization's century-plus history (2010 was the 100th anniversary).

When the Boy Scouts of America organization was still in its infancy, Norman Rockwell became one of its key illustrators — an important early achievement for the young man fresh out of art school. His first assignment for the Boy Scouts was to create pen and ink drawings for their Hike Book in the fall of 1912. Shortly after, at the age of nineteen, Rockwell was appointed art editor of Boy's Life magazine, a post that required him to create imagery for the publication and supervise work delegated to other artists. He created more than 200 illustrations for this publication.

Saluting the FlagAs his style matured and the Rockwell name became known, he was hired by outside publishers to compose illustrations for children's books and periodicals. When his tenure began with The Saturday Evening Post in 1916, Rockwell left the salaried position at Boy's Life, but continued to include Scouts in Post cover images and the monthly magazine of the American Red Cross. He resumed work with the Boy Scouts in 1924 with the production of his fifty-one annual images for Brown and Bigelow's highly successful Boy Scout Calendar. His connection to the group spanned sixty-four years, making the longest professional association of his career.

Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, organizer of Norman Rockwell: Boy Scouts, holds the world's largest and most significant collection of works by Norman Rockwell. The National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas, is the official museum of the Boy Scouts of America. Its mission is to preserve the legacy of Scouting and promote the movement to future generations.

During the same time period, Scouting Through the Years will be presented in The Museum's Central Gallery. This exhibition, presented in partnership with the World of Scouting Museum in Valley Forge, Pa., is a look at the evolution of Scouting over the past century, and includes historical memorabilia such as uniforms, badges/patches, awards, flags, photos, equipment and more.

Additionally, the Reading Public Museum's Works on Paper Gallery will highlight a variety of works related to Scouting as well as Norman Rockwell.

This exhibition is presented locally by the Marlin and Ginger Miller Exhibition Endowment.

Corporate Supporter: Emerald Advisers

Local support provided in honorable recognition of: BSA

Images: Top: Good Friends, 1927 Illustration for Boy Scouts of America calendar, 1927 ©1927: Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections; Bottom: Saluting the Flag, 1917 Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, May 12, 1917 ©1917: SEPS Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections

To watch the 30-second TV spot for this exhibition, click here. (YouTube)

To watch the Comcast Newsmakers TV segment on this exhibition, click here. (YouTube)