Rockwell (1894 – 1978) and Guo Pei (1967 – )

It’s been a while since I visited any museums and this summer while traveling from Boston to Ithaca, I accidentally found out that the Norman Rockwell Museum was on the way. What a delightful discovery! It was a tiny unassuming white building resting on a scenic site overlooking the Housatonic River Valley. The main exhibition features some of the most famous illustrations and paintings by the renowned artist. All the covers he made for the Saturday Evening Post – from 1916 to 1963, 323 in total – are on display at a lower level. His last studio in Stockbridge was also moved to the museum site in the 80s and guided tours are offered.

The museum also hosts other illustration related exhibitions, and virtual exhibitions on their website.

In a more recent and much shorter trip, I got to see Guo Pei’s Couture Fantasy at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco. Guo Pei is a Chinese fashion designer who is very popular among Chinese and Western celebrities. She’s one who designed the spectacular 2015 Rihanna’s Met Gala gown. Many of Guo’s designs feature intricate embroidery and lavish materials. They are quite labor intensive, and some took thousands of hours to make.

Instead of putting all the items in one dedicated area, the museum chose to set some of her works up among their permanent collections, creating some interesting juxtaposition.

From cozy comic daily life to extravagant haute couture, each of these shows is a change of scene from my currently skill focused art practice. They make me think about what art is and what art serves. But most importantly, museums are fun and I am back!

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