Illustrators Featured at Norman Rockwell Museum

James Gurney featured in Dinotopia:
The Fantastical Art of James Gurney

February 18 trough May 20,2006
Ever since my parents first set me in a sandbox, it has been my dream to create a world. I wasn't interested in just a pretty-looking castle, but a whole world, complete in every detail—so real I could step across some magic threshold and disappear into it. For me, Dinotopia is the answer to that dream. I don't think of it as a fantasy world to escape to, but rather as a real world to participate in. —James Gurney

James Gurney lives with his family in New York State’s Hudson Valley. He was born on June 14, 1958, in Glendale, California. As a young boy, he found it difficult to find books on dinosaurs, a subject that always captivated him. A childhood museum visit provided his first encounter with the skeleton of a formidable Allosaurus, leading him to imagine the dinosaur skeletons “stepping off of their platforms and tip-toeing through the hallways at night,” returning to their post by daybreak.

Gurney’s youthful daydreams inspired an interest in archaeology and lost civilizations. The artist recalls many hours spent excavating his suburban backyard for arrowheads and “even a lost temple.” During college he majored in anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in 1979 with Phi Beta Kappa honors. From there he went on to pursue his lifelong interest in art, studying illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he met his wife Jeanette, also an artist, who shared his love for sketching outdoors.

A cross-country trip with friend and fellow artist Thomas Kinkade resulted in The Artist’s Guide to Sketching (1982). During his early career he painted jungle and volcano backdrops for animator Ralph Bakshi’s Fire and Ice (1983) and became interested in the fantasy genre. His art soon appeared on the covers of science fiction and fantasy novels but his big break as an illustrator came from National Geographic magazine with a series of challenging assignments working with scientists and historians to recreate ancient worlds. Gurney’s secret dream was to discover a lost city as significant as Troy or Machu Picchu and so, in his spare time, he envisioned and painted Waterfall City and Dinosaur Parade, which inspired the conceptual framework for Dinotopia.

His first Dinotopia book, the New York Times bestseller Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time, appeared in 18 languages in more than 30 countries and sold two million copies. Gurney has written and illustrated three other volumes in the series, Dinotopia: The World Beneath, Dinotopia: First Flight, and the recently released Dinotopia: Journey To Chandara. In 2002, Hallmark Entertainment produced a lavish $86 million television miniseries for ABC-TV based on the Dinotopia books that received record-setting ratings and an Emmy award for best visual effects.



"James Gurney" ©James Gurney
James Gurney ©James Gurney

James Gurney interview video part 1
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James Gurney interview video part 2
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Al Parker featured in Ephemeral Beauty:
Al Parker and the American Women's Magazine, 1940-1960

June 9 through October 28, 2007
“I think one of the things I like best about illustration is the fact that things are always changing. It’s always tomorrow.” — Al Parker, 1964

A founder of the modern glamour aesthetic, Alfred Charles Parker (1906-1985), defined the progressive look and feel of published imagery at a time of sweeping change, when Americans sought symbols of hope and redemption on the pages of our nation’s periodicals. His innovative modernist artworks created for mass-appeal women’s magazines like Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, and Cosmopolitan, captivated upwardly mobile mid-twentieth century readers, reflecting and profoundly influencing the values and aspirations of American women and their families during the post-war era.

Leaping beyond the constraints of traditional narrative picture making, Al Parker emerged in the 1930s to establish a vibrant visual vocabulary for the new suburban life so desired in the aftermath of the Depression and World War II. More graphic and less detailed than the paintings of luminary Norman Rockwell, who was a contemporary and an inspiration to the artist, Parker’s stylish compositions were sought after by editors and art directors for their fresh look and feel. Embraced by an eagerly romantic public who aspired to the ideals of beauty and lifestyle reflected in his illustrations, Parker’s art also revealed a penchant for reinvention, and his ongoing experiments with visual form kept him ahead of the curve for decades. His vibrant images, borne of diverse methodologies, inspired and entertained millions who encountered them at the turn of a page.



"Al Parker, 1930" ©1950 Roy Stevens
Al Parker, 1930
Al Parker Collection, Department of Special Connections, Washinton University Libraries
©1950 Roy Stevens

More Than Words: Illustrated Letters
from the Smithsonian Archives on American Art

November 11 through January 14, 2007

The More Than Words exhibition featured many artists' drawings on letters sent to their friends and loved ones. Here is a representative list of the artists:
  • Howard Finster
  • Maynard Dixon
  • Allen Tupper
  • Paul Bransom
  • Eero Saarinen
  • Waldo Peirce
  • Moses Soyer
  • Waldo Peirce
  • Joseph Lindon
  • Mine Okubo
  • Dorothea Tanning
  • William Cushing Loring
  • Rutherford Boyd
  • Ione Robinson
  • Paul Manship
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Edith Schloss
  • Gladys Nilsson


Frederic Remington featured in Frederic Remington
and the American Civil War: A Ghost Story

June 10 through October 29, 2006

Born in 1861, Frederic Remington was a man who loved hard work and adventure. After training in art at Yale University, he decided to travel West in the 1880s, with dreams of striking it rich. Remington arrived during the last period of the old lawless West. The authenticity of his subject matter was immediately noticeable in work drawn for Harper’s Monthly, and in numerous drawings, paintings and bronzes, which depict the settlement of the American frontier.

In 1898, Remington ventured outside of the country, accompanying the Fifth Corps to Cuba as a war correspondent. Here he made many notable paintings and drawings documenting the war with Spain. One painting, Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, helped bolster Theodore Roosevelt’s reputation as a soldier and his subsequent political career. Remington went on to illustrate several of Roosevelt’s books and magazine articles.

Remington’s life-long love of horses, resulted in numerous studies, skillfully depicting their peculiarities and strengths. His own article “Horses of the Plain” was published by The Country in 1889.

The Remington Memorial Museum was established in the artist’s home town of Ogdensburg, New York, following his death in 1909. His studio effects and Indian Collection, are preserved in the Whitney Gallery of Western Art in Cody, Wyoming. Additional collections of his work can be found in the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and in the Thomas Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.



Women in Illustration: Contemporary Visions and Voices

March 6, through May 31, 2004
  • Natalie Ascencios
  • Cathie Bleck
  • Yvonne Buchanan
  • Elizabeth Buttler
  • Alice Carter
  • Kinuko Y. Craft
  • Cora Lynn Deibler
  • Elaine Duillo
  • Jane Dyer
  • Teresa Fasolino
  • Mary GrandPré
  • Susan Jeffers
  • Frances Jetter
  • Maira Kalman
  • Anita Kunz
  • Barbara Nessim
  • Lynn Pauley
  • Ruth Sanderson
  • Whitney Sherman
  • Cathleen Toelke



David Macaulay featured in Building Books:
The Art of David Macaulay

November 13, 2004 through May 30, 2005

As a young boy in Lancashire, England, David Macaulay was fascinated by the way objects are made and how they operate. Out of cigar boxes, he constructed elevators. Using yarn, he made intricate systems of moving cable cars. In 1988, using his remarkable talents for translating concepts and information to the printed page, he was asked to illustrate The Way Thing Work: From Levers to Lasers. Macaulay has since expanded the book to include digital technology. The artist's books have sold two million copies in America and have been published in a dozen languages, and Cathedral, Castle, and Pyramid have been made into popular PBS television programs. Macaulay is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards.

David Macaulay interview video part 1
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David Macaulay interview video part 2
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"David Macaulay" by David Macaulay. ©Julie Brigidi - Bristol Workshops
David Macaulay ©Julie Brigidi - Bristol Workshops

Stan and Jan Berenstain featured in The Berenstain Bears
Celebrate: The Art of Stan and Jan Berenstain

February 8, through May 26, 2004

In 1962, Stan and Jan Berenstain published their first book about a family of bears who live down a sunny dirt road in Bear Country. Since then the Berenstain Bears have become an American institution, making Stan and Jan the most popular author/illustrators in publishing history, second only to their mentor, Dr.Seuss.

The foundation for their early books came from Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) who was then an editor at Random House, who wrote and sought engaging stories that would help children learn to read. Although the texts of these books seemed simple, they were the products of long hours of work to refine text and pictures to accomplish his goals.

From the beginning, Stan and Jan decided to work as a team, simply signing their work “the Berenstains.” They came of age in the days when magazine and newspapers dominated the nation’s leisure time, the source of entertainment and information. They found early success in national publications with their cartoons and magazine covers, drawing upon their domestic experiences as inspiration. Family life was also the focus of their subsequent series of humor books for adults.

In 1973, the Berenstains began writing and illustrating First Time Books, a series of bear tales about the issues and challenges that families face. These books deal with a host of experiences of all kinds, from sibling rivalry and new home anxiety to the nature of God. Parents in 52 countries embrace these books as child-rearing tools, and children identify with their believable characters and situations. The success of the First Time Books eventually led Stan and Jan to the world of animation, with five primetime specials, a Saturday morning series and a daily program on public television. The Berenstains have successfully connected with their targeted audience with over 260 million books sold in bookstores, supermarkets and shopping centers throughout the world.



"Stan and Jan Berenstain" ©Berenstains, Inc.
Stan and Jan Berenstain ©Berenstains, Inc.
Videos produced by Norman Rockwell Museum. ©2008 Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.

©2008 Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.
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