If you follow me on instagram, you’ll already know that my first trip out of pandemic quarantine was this weekend, and it was to go to the Norman Rockwell Museum for the Enchanted exhibition opening. They could easily have called it the Muddy Colors exhibition, because so many of the contributors here have pieces hanging.
Forgive the awful pictures — photographs on your phone in a museum setting never turn out properly, but I share them here so you can get a feel for how amazing this show is. The curator, Jesse Kowalski, did a good job with balancing the show between what a fantasy art insider would love to see with what a standard museum patron, there to see Norman Rockwell and not knowing much about fantasy art, would want to see. The show takes up more than half the museum and it’s organized into archetypes with some nice material by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell tying the themes together (gods and mythology, knights and dragons, fairy tales, etc.).
They also did a great job of working in pieces much older than what we consider the age of fantasy illustration — Leyendecker, Kent, Parrish, Dore — and placing them next to parallels in modern fantasy pieces.
For those of you close enough to make a trip to Stockbridge, MA in the Berkshires, it is so so worth a trip. It’s up until Halloween.
For everyone, there are virtual programs going on. First a symposium with the curator and a number of artists this weekend, and quite a few solo artist virtual visits and talks throughout the show. Check out all the programming here.
There’s also a lovely catalog of the exhibit that you can order that was well worth having in your art book collection.