Norman Rockwell exhibit has opened at NCMA, as the first big visiting show in the new gallery space. The museum curator’s hope the infamous Rockwell draws crowds like Monet’s Lillies did just a few years ago, prior to the new expansion’s completion. In that effort, we are seeing a widely varied set of programs around Rockwell. This Saturday at 3 a panel discussion on his humorous side gives dimension to this artist. Rockwell was more than the light hearted romanticism of American history, and these artists of humor hold him in high esteem.
Norman Rockwell is venerated by professional cartoonists, who have been deeply influenced by the artist’s whimsical and clever storytelling as well as his brilliant craftsmanship. Join three master cartoonists, illustrators, and humorists in a lively discussion of Rockwell’s lighter side. Our panelists include Nick Meglin, former longtime editor of Mad magazine, whose book The Art of Humorous Illustration devotes a chapter to Rockwell; Marcus Hamilton, who took the reins of “Dennis the Menace” after the death of originator Hank Ketchum; and award-winning cartoonist-illustrator Jack Pittman.
The panel discussion will be moderated by WUNC’s Frank Stasio, host of The State of Things, and will include images and time for Q&A.
James Audubon is considered one of the finest scientific illustrators in human history. His Birds of America book set is widely regarded as one of the printed treasures from its era. The museum explains:
For the first time, a treasure of art publishing that has belonged to the State of North Carolina for more than a century and a half will be exhibited in its entirety at the North Carolina Museum of Art. In recent decades the Museum’s copy of John James Audubon’s incomparable collection The Birds of America, a four-volume set, has been unavailable for viewing, except for a small number of plates separated from the volumes. Now restored, all four volumes will move to a special gallery devoted to Audubon’s art.
The Audubon talk is an informal half hour conversation with a docent about the John James Audubon’s The Birds of America show. It starts Tuesday at 2:30.
Bob Trotman is one of the most interesting sculptors working in North Carolina today. Often shown in Charlotte, the current NCMA show represents his first in Raleigh since 1994. The sculptor’s human forms are carved from wood and painted in a realistic fashion but in dimensionally challenged positions. You may be familiar with the woman off balance resting on her head that is part of the Museum’s permanent collection, this show has many more like it. The museum describes Trotman’s work:
Inspired by a wide range of sources, including ship figureheads, 19th-century storefront wooden effigies, and Gothic religious sculptures, Trotman’s figurative works evolved out of his earlier anthropomorphic furniture. His painted, stained, and carved wood sculptures often depict anonymous people who appear to be in various states of change or flux, both physically and emotionally. The figures are simultaneously humorous and disquieting. Dressed in suits and ties or ladylike dresses, they are portrayed upside down with their legs waving in the air, poised on the brink of jumping or leaping, or sinking into the floor as if it were made of quicksand.
The Trotman talk is an informal half hour conversation with a docent about the Inverted Utopias. show. It starts Wednesday at 2:30.