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The Summer of Steig at the NRM

Now - October 31
Rural Intelligence Arts
Newsweek once called him the “King of Cartoons” for his brilliant work in the New Yorker, but William Steig (1907-2003) is just as famous to several generations of children and their parents for his endearing children’s book characters—Sylvester, Dr. DeSoto, Farmer Palmer, Abel, Pearl, Gorky, Solomon, Irene, and, of course, the now world-famous Shrek.  All of Steig’s heros, even the ogre, are sweet, ordinary souls who, alas, live in a world that is not without peril.  Faced with danger, these protagonists, usually farm animals dressed to the nines in 1930s finery, use uncommon sense to skirt danger and get safely home—in Steig’s worldview always the ultimate goal. 

A new exhibition, William Steig: Love and Laughter is on view at the Norman Rockwell Museum.  Much of the work on display is drawn from the more than eight hundred original Steig artworks that were recently donated to the NRM by Jeanne Steig, the artist’s wife of 35 years, herself an artist and award-winning author.  This generous addition to the Museum’s permanent collection of illustration came about because the work, in Mrs. Steig’s view, needed a safe home, just like a character from one of her late husband’s books.  At the Norman Rockwell Museum, which gets 130,000 visitors each year, it will be properly cared for and available to the public. 

At the opening reception on Saturday night, June 12, Mrs. Steig, who lives in Boston, will offer commentary on the exhibition.  “William Steig made me laugh, too,” she says.  “His drawings offered a tender commentary on life. They make a perfect pairing with the work of Norman Rockwell, equally tender and observant.” Also part of the Steig exhibit are Jeanne Steig’s own vibrant dimensional sculptures and assemblages made almost entirely from street finds and other discarded materials.  The installation emphasizes the shared themes in the couples’ work.

Throughout the summer, Rural Intelligence will report on other Steig-exhibition-related special events at the NRM.

Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Route 183; Stockbridge; 413.298.4100
Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Opening reception, Saturday, June 12, 7 - 9:30 p.m.
Jeanne Steig will speak at 7:15 p.m.
Museum members/free, Non-members/$25
RSVP; 413.298.4100, ext. 221.

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 06/10/10 at 09:07 AM • Permalink