December 20, 2013
A Wonderful Gift: The NMAI Thanks
James Montgomery Flagg, I Want You for US Army, 1917 Elizabeth Gordon Chandler NA, James Montgomery Flagg, 1951
Jerry Weiss is known
particularly for his work as a portrait and landscape
artist. Jerry is the son of the notable and famous cartoonist
Morris Weiss and inimitable portrait artist Blanche Weiss. Growing up in
such an artistic family, he was strongly influenced by his parent's
expansive collection of artworks by the Great American Illustrators such
as J.C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell, James Montgomery Flagg, and N.C.
with many other artists highlighted at the NMAI. Jerry is on the
faculty of New York City's renowned Art Student's League, he is a
Contributing Editor to The Artist's Magazine, and his works are
in collections of the New Britian Museum of Art, University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pfizer Inc., Harvard Club of New York, Brigham
and Women's Hopsital of Boston, and he has lectured widely across the
USA. Jerry is listed in Who's Who in American Art, and his art hangs in
United States Embassies.
Jerry generously gifted a bronze bust of the notable illustrator James Montgomery Flagg to the Museum, sculpted by Elisabeth Gordon Chandler (1913 - 2006), c. 1951. Flagg is a prominently featured artist in our American Imagist Collection, and is best known for his images of Uncle Sam. Flagg used himself as a model for his Uncle Sam images, by adding age and the white goatee to his own face, in lieu of finding a model. Flagg's self portrait is reproduced as Uncle Sam in his most famous of all posters ever published, "I Want You for US Army," a WWI United States Army recruitment poster. Likewise, in his painting "Help China!" which is currently hanging in our Library gallery. The bust is also displayed in the Library alongside Flagg's "Help China!"
self portrait, so visitors can gaze upon the face of the artist which
has been transformed into an instantly recognizable American icon.
James Montgomery Flagg, Help China!, 1942
graciously thanks Mr. Weiss for this beautiful addition to the
Collection, and also for the educational value it holds for future
James Montgomery Flagg, Columbia, 1916
A Special Guest from Fern Hill Elementary
NMAI was proud to host a
special visitor from West Chester, PA. While we have had many guests
arrive by bus, car, plane, and boat, Fern Hill Elementary's "Flat
Stanley" was the first visitor to arrive by mail!
"The Flat Stanley Project" originates from a children's book entitled Flat Stanley authored
by Jeff Brown and orignally illustrated by Tomi Ungerer. The story
follows the adventures of Stanley Lambchop, who was flattened by a
bulletin board, but makes light of his situation by traveling by mail to
visit people and places around the world. From this story, "The Flat
Stanley Project" emerged. Started by Dale Hubert in 1995, this project
is similar to a Pen Pal project, where students connect with a
participant and then exchange letters. In addition to letters, the
students create their own "Flat Stanley" and send him/her on an
adventure, which the recipient will respond by recording their time with
him/her, and send Stanley back with information and photographs of
where he/she has been. This project promotes education and literacy,
encouraging students to learn, write, and interact with others from
around the world.
Mary Jane Begin, Aquastrian Awards Ceremony, (upper) 2013
A Florentine Fete - Garden of Opportunity, 1912 Mary Jane Begin, Under the Sparkling Sea (Cover), (lower) 2013
This particular "Flat
Stanley" was sent to us by the art students at Fern Hill Elementary
after their 2nd grade class read the book Flat Stanley.
"Fern Hill Art Stanley" is traveling to teach their students about art
and art history. We gave "Fern Hill Art Stanley" a VIP tour of some of
the NMAI's most popular works, as well as a lesson on Illustration Art.
To learn more about "The Flat Stanley Project" you can visit their website here.
NMAI Spreads the Visual Words of Illustration Art
always searching for new ways to spread the word of the most American of
American art: Illustration Art. Often overlooked, Illustration is a
unique artform in that its expression can be comprehended in a
glance without explanation. Illustration is truely a universal art form,
as all peoples understand the meaning of a smile or a tear drop, a
sunny sky or a rainy day. Its artworks break down barriers between
differing races, languages, religions, and creeds, and is a global
catayst for mutal understanding. For these reasons, and in the interest
of expanding an even greater understanding of our culture which is
vividly portrayed by Norman Rockwell, we gift thousands of books such
as: Norman Rockwell's America, co-authored by NMAI Founders
Judy Goffman Cutler and Laurence S. Cutler, to schools
& faculties, museums, libraries, and other cultural
Norman Rockwell's America - Gifts for 2013
Newport Public Schools and Libraries
Over 400 copies of this
265 page book abounding with hundreds of Rockwell's most famous works
portrayed in color were gifted to every graduating senior, all teaching
faculties, and administrators at every Newport Public School, and two
copies each to all school libraries in Newport RI.
book shall provide to students and staff a better appreciation of not
only Rockwell's work, but the historical perspective that each
illustration provides over the span of Rockwell's career"
- John H. Ambrogi, Ed. D, Superintendent
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
A special feature of MFA's art
initiative is the Give the Arts a Chance benefit drawing - the proceeds
fund scholarships to students of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts,
as well as improvements enhancing visitor experience. The NMAI was a
prominent underwriter of this challenging effort with great outcome.
"...thank you for
your generous contribution of 100 pairs of tickets to your Museum and
100 copies of the Norman Rockwell's America book...a gift to Give the
Arts a Chance...a huge success."
- Ann J. Chase, Chair
Give the Arts a Chance
" Thanks to your generosity, the Associates have given....20,000 volunteer hours...we thank you for helping us help the Museum."
- Mary Margaret Graham, Chair
Art in Bloom
"Thank you so much for allowing the Cahoon
Museum of American Art volunteers to come and participate in a
phenomenal tour of the National Museum of American Illustration...the
introductory video and our tour guide were just wonderful and gave us
all a feeling of the mission and purpose of your museum. We were pleased
to see how well the building has been restored because currently we are
in the process of restoring our museum main building. I have heard
nothing but rave reviews about the trip and how accomodating you all
were to our group...thank you again for the opportunity to tour your
museum and we all look forward to visiting again in the near future"
- Richard Waterhouse, Director of the Cahoon Museum of American Art, 2013
visited last Friday and I want to let you know how impressed we were
with Vernon Court, the decor and arrangements, the artwork and display
in general...The experience was in every way equal to museums both in
the US and abroad. A 1st class museum and show! I will be glad to return
and suggest the museum to visitors. A very personal encounter - thank
- Catherine & Ric Gresh, 2013
had heard of this museum a few years back but had no idea of the scope
of art work this place had on exhibit. First of all, the mansion housing
these works is very lovely in and of itself. But the arrangement of the
artwork amongst the lovely interior was just stunning. Most memorable
were the Parrish murals in the garden room. We also enjoyed the film at
the beginning talking about Parrish's techniques. The founders of this
museum have created a wonderful homage to these illustrators."
- "Ted R" , tripadvisor.com, 2013
Continued due to popular demand through Summer 2014! This exhibition features works from Edith Wharton's notable book, Italian Villas and their Gardens,
Edison Mazda Calendar works, and extraordinary examples from each phase
of Parrish's oeuvre. NMAI has the largest Maxfield Parrish Collection
of original artworks extant, including his largest commission, the Florentine Fete murals, 18 paintings each measuring 10ft 6in tall, and his smallest, The Tallwood Pearl, a 1 1/2in landscape scene on a Mother of Pearl Button.
Mary Jane Begin's new book My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea, as the title suggests, is a My Little Pony
story with an aquatic theme. Her bold and intense use of colors in the
underwater environment and nuanced depictions of the facial expressions
convey the characters' wonderment at the strange and new world they
experience. Illustrations from this book are now on display for viewing
and for sale in the Lower Level galleries at the NMAI.
Continuing for the 2014 Summer Season,
this exhibition features the illustrative works of Charles Dana Gibson,
Harrison Fisher, Howard Chandler Christy, Walter Granville Smith, James
Montgomery Flagg, Albert Beck Wenzell, and others of their Gilded Age
Illustrator colleagues, each demonstrating their own particular notion
of classic American female Beauties.
Earning him the nickname the 'Father of
American Illustration', Howard Pyle started the first school for
American Illustrators in 1900 named the Howard Pyle School of
Illustration Art, at Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, later known as
the Brandywine School. This exhibition features this Master's work, as
well as some of his best known students including N.C. Wyeth, Frank
Schoonover, Violet Oakley and many others.
Off Season Hours (thru Memorial Day 2014):
Friday: 11am - 5pm
Seniors (60+)/Military: $16
Groups (6 Visitors or more): $15
Children 5 to 12 yrs: $8
*Children under 5 not admitted
(Guided Tours available at other times by appointment for groups of 6 or more. Call 401.8851.8949 ext. 18 for more information)
The National Museum of American
Illustration is a nonprofit, independent, educational and aesthetic
organization. It is located in Newport, RI on Bellevue Avenue at Vernon
Court (1898), a Carrere and Hastings designed Beaux-Arts adaptation of
an 18th century French chateau. It is the first national museum devoted
exclusively to American Illustration art. Illustration consists of
original artwork created to be reproduced in books, magazines,
newspapers, and advertisements. "Golden Age" paintings by such
luminaries as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, NC Wyeth, JC
Leyendecker, and 150 others are displayed in "Gilded Age" architecture,
creating a unique union of architecture and art - a national treasure.
The Museum is administered by the American Civilization Foundation, a
nonprofit organization with the goal to present the best possible venue
for appreciating the greatest collection of illustration art - the most American of American art.
National Museum of American Illustration
492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport RI, 02840
T: 401-851-8949 F: 401-851-8974
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