Rockwell Museum Connects U.S. Illustrators to History of Narrative Realism

by Andy SmithPosted on


Maxfield Parrish (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art)

Norman Rockwell Museum connects the work of American illustrators to the history of narrative realism in the upcoming exhibition “Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell and the Narrative Tradition.” The exhibition, opening June 9 and running through Oct. 28, tethers Golden Age illustrators in the U.S. to 500 years of European painting, with artists like Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell featured. It arrives at a time when the genre has received renewed interest, as the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, set to open in Los Angeles in 2022.


N. C. Wyeth (Brandywine River Museum of Art)


Dennis Nolan


Norman Rockwell (Norman Rockwell Museum Collections)


Jean Leon Gérôme (Museum of Art, New York)

This exhibition is curated by artist and educator Dennis Nolan. “Narrative realism in picturemaking has been a constant—not just through eight hundred years of Western art, but through the entire history of humanity’s creative efforts, from the earliest cave paintings and frescos on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs to today’s published imagery for print, animation, and gaming,” a statement says.

See more work from the show below.


Charles Gleyre (Chrysler Museum of Art)


Maxfield Parrish (Heritage Auctions)


Norman Rockwell (Norman Rockwell Museum Collections)