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Museum exhibit draws in the crowds

Rockwell display examines 'Family Life' during the 1950s-60s

Pat Callahan

The Museum of Northwest Colorado is currently offering the unique opportunity to view original drawings by renowned artist Norman Rockwell.

The exhibit, which started July 9, features 80 of Rockwell’s pencil drawings. The series, titled “Family Life,” was created during the 1950s and ’60s, and was produced for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company of Springfield as part of an advertising campaign.

Many of the drawings have appeared in “The Saturday Evening Post,” “Time” magazine and “Newsweek” magazine.

Dan Davidson, the director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado, said so far the exhibit has been well received.

“Response has been really good,” Davidson said. “A lot of people have been in that haven’t been in before, and lots of times they’ll mention they came in to see Rockwell. And since tourism is supposed to be down in Colorado this year, we’ve taken that as a real positive.”

Davidson said the exhibit has become somewhat of a local attraction.

“We’ve had people that were staying in Steamboat that are staying here for however many weeks, who are coming down because they saw the promotion for it,” Davidson said. “I think we’ve pulled in more people, and certainly local people are coming in just to see it.”

Davidson said the exhibit has attracted people who are familiar with some of the subjects.

“We’ve had people come in just to see the exhibit that are friends with people who were actually some of the models,” Davidson said. “So that’s sort of interesting the connections that it’s provided.”

Davidson said the drawings encompass a wide body of work.

“It was designed for a life insurance company, so it shows people at different stages of their lives,” Davidson said. “From people having new babies, to little kids, to older people, and all sorts of different areas of their lives.”

Highlands Ranch, Colo. resident Sherri Jacoby got the opportunity to view the Rockwell drawings Thursday.

“I think it’s great,” Jacoby said. “It’s amazing and important that they brought it here. I’ve never seen Norman Rockwell originals, and I go to museums all the time.”

The traveling exhibit is organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass, and is sponsored by the Susan M. Lindsay Trust.

“It’s something sort of neat because the community gets to view it, and the museum and/or the taxpayer didn’t have any of the cost involved in bringing the exhibit to the area.”

Rockwell’s work will be displayed at the museum until Sept. 21.


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