The Exhibition

Under the honourary patronage of Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Gary Doer and the support of the Embassy of the United States of America,

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell

This historic touring exhibition is the first ever major retrospective of Rockwell’s paintings in Canada! One of the most popular North American artists of the past century, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a keen observer of human nature and a gifted storyteller. For nearly seven decades, Rockwell chronicled our changing society in the small details and nuanced scenes of ordinary people in everyday life, providing a personalized interpretation—often an idealized one—of North American identity. His depictions offered a reassuring visual haven during a time of momentous transformation as North America evolved into a complex, modern society. In addition to 42 major paintings by the artist depicting good times and bad, quaint pastimes and charged current events, the exhibition includes archival material, photographs, and the complete set of 323 tear sheets from The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell’s contributions to our visual legacy, many of them now icons of North American culture, have found a permanent place in our psyche. As the exhibition’s only Canadian venue, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is partnering with the Norman Rockwell Museum, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to bring a major exhibition of this defining artist to Canada for the first time.


Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell found success early, being commissioned to design four Christmas cards before his sixteenth birthday. In 1916 the 22-year-old painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post, the magazine he considered to be “the greatest show window in America.” Over the next 47 years, Rockwell’s art appeared on the cover of The Post 323 times. Although often seen as a painter of idealized North American family life, Rockwell also chronicled the darker side. His Four Freedoms paintings, inspired by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s address to Congress in 1943, toured the United States in an exhibition sponsored by The Saturday Evening Post and the U.S. Treasury Department and, through the sale of war bonds, raised more than $130 million for the war effort. Murder in Mississippi is a haunting depiction of the murder of civil rights workers in 1965. The Problem We All Live With dealt with the issue of school racial integration, depicting a young African American girl, Ruby Bridges, flanked by white federal marshals, walking to school past a wall defaced by racist graffiti.

Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. The museum preserves, studies and communicates with a worldwide audience the life, art and spirit of Norman Rockwell in the field of illustration. The museum is a gathering place for reflection, involvement, and discovery through the enjoyment of the artist’s work. Norman Rockwell’s unique contributions to art and society, popular culture and social commentary influence the museum’s programs and interpretations.

Audio Tour

Enjoy the audio tour included with the price of admission. Produced through the Norman Rockwell Museum and made possible by a generous gift from The Mauro Family Foundation, the insightful tour is narrated by Rockwell’s son Peter. Here is a sample of what you'll hear:

Girl Reading the Post, Norman Rockwell, 1941. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 1, 1941
© 1941 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum.

A Scout is Helpful, Norman Rockwell, 1939. Illustration for Boy Scouts of America calendar, 1941
© Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum.

Left: Triple Self-Portrait, 1959. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 13, 1960
©1960 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum.

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