Norman Rockwell Art Exhibit
National Scouting Museum | Permanent Collection
The National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas, is very fortunate to have a permanent collection of Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) paintings. The seventeen paintings are displayed in a special gallery along with other paintings by Joseph Csatari (b 1929) and drawings by Remington Schuyler (1884-1955). The National Scouting Museum owns the largest collection of scouting art work by Rockwell. The scouts might own the largest collection of Rockwell paintings outside Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Norman Rockwell is America’s quintessential illustrator. He created illustrations for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post magazine for over four decades. Rockwell also created 50 Brown & Bigelow Scouting calendar covers, over 200 illustrations, and 11 covers for Boys’ Life magazine. Over the course of his life, Rockwell created over 4,000 works.
Not all of the seventeen Rockwell paintings on display are great works. But there are some choice paintings that make the trip really worth it. They include:
- Scouts of Many Trails, 1937
- Forward America, 1951
- Might Proud, 1958
- Homecoming, 1961
- Beyond the Easel, 1969
In Mighty Proud, Rockwell paints a family all gathered around the recently promoted boy scout. His cub scout uniform is on the floor. Mom and dad look on with pride. Eagle scout big brother adjusts the neckerchief. Little brother can’t wait till he is a scout too. The quality of the painting and the story it conveys cannot easily be appreciated on a calendar or the web. It should be seen in person.
The only issues with the exhibit are display and lighting. The gallery is very nice, but the paintings seem a little high, especially for the expected audience. And the lighting is also bad for younger guests. Anyone shorter than four feet tall will have to make adjustments to see the paintings without a glare.
The National Scouting Museum and the Norman Rockwell Exhibit is well worth the trip to Irving, Texas. Take advantage of free Sundays and Mondays, while they last.