This past weekend I went on a road trip towards the Berkshire Mountains and discovered there is a Norman Rockwell Museum on the way. Norman Rockwell was an American author, painter, and illustrator through most of the early 1900’s. His work is very recognizable as he created famous illustrations of everyday American life for magazines like The Saturday Evening Post.
When I first arrived at the museum grounds I couldn’t help but be in awe of how beautiful it was. The landscaping was perfect and well maintained and the views of the hills behind were absolutely spectacular.
Walking up to the museum gave me a sense this was going to be an incredible experience and I was very excited to see the original works of this prolific artist, even the cloudy day and rain couldn’t keep me back.
Now if I have to give an ounce of criticism to the museum, it would be the $20 entry fee. It kind of knocked me back a little as from where I was standing in line to get in, I felt like I could basically see the entire museum from my vantage point, but alas, that is the cost to keep this history alive and well maintained, so I paid it.
I was actually quite surprised at how busy this museum was. Happy to see it so busy, but pretty shocked. I didn’t realize what a pull he had, which was more of my lack of knowledge of just how important Norman is to history. His artwork brings a lot of nostalgia to people as I learned walking around and listening to the other patrons discuss his work.
Is this one of the original selfies?
One fun fact I learned was how he created his artwork. He started his career asking people to sit in while he painted, but this became difficult and time-consuming, so as time went on he realized he could photograph people and then use the photo as a reference instead. He often used people from the town, which is why many of his paintings have the same faces in them, they became characters in his world.
Walking through the museum portion of the site should take you no more than an hour depending on how much you stop and read. Afterwards, you are free to explore the grounds where you can go inside Norman’s studio which was brought to the property.
Inside there are more of his paintings and a guide inside will talk about how he developed his paintings. This is where you get a real sense of what his life was like.
If you find yourself near the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, I recommend stopping by and seeing this huge piece of American history. It was worth the $20.
For more information visit https://www.nrm.org/
9 Glendale Rd / Rte 183
Stockbridge , MA 01262