May 22,  2013



George Lucas' proposal for a Cultural Arts Museum is one of 3 finalists for a coveted site in San Francisco's Presidio National Park. His proposal submitted to The Presidio Trust explains the intent to create a museum which highlights storytelling "populist art," with the works of great American illustrators such as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, and J.C. Leyendecker all featured prominently. Other artists in other mediums and genres such as comic art, fashion design, cinematic art, and digital media will be included in the proposed museum.


Sunrise, 1931. Maxfield Parrish



(l-r): Going Out - Woman At Vanity, 1933, and Ride in a Rumble Seat, 1935. Norman Rockwell


Lucas developed much of his esteemed collection through NMAI co-founder and Museum Director Judy Cutler's American Illustrators Gallery in NYC, including the images displayed within this section. Mrs. Cutler remarks, "George has been a long-time proponent of the merits and cultural value of American illustration. Many early advocates of American illustration art were movie actors and directors. They were all early to recognize the parallels between American illustration and film in reflecting our culture and the human condition while telling a story within a particular aesthetic framework."

Mrs. Cutler goes on to say, "Lucas' whole- hearted commitment to this project is most commendable. He is gifting the entirety of the funding necessary for the construction of the building ($250 million), and creating a huge endowment ($800 million) to operate the new Museum in perpetuity. It will ultimately comprise a huge, valuable gift to San Francisco -  a massive commitment to illustration art and new media arts."


right: Contentment, 1927. Maxfield Parrish

below: Democrats & Republicans, 1936, and Vacation, 1907. J.C. Leyendecker






NMAI recently gifted nearly 400 copies of our book Norman Rockwell's America to the Newport School Committee for distribution to every teacher in the Newport School System and to every graduating senior at Rogers High School, as well as 2 copies for every City school library. NMAI also gifted 140 copies to the congregants of Newport's Touro Synagogue - the oldest synagogue in North America. The reason for these gifts is our fervent belief in education and the value of art as an important part of everyone's lives. To wit: it was a 1961 gift of an art book from our co-founder Laurence Cutler to his high school sweetheart and future wife Judy Cutler that  led her to embark on a career as an art collector, conservator, educator, and America's leading illustration art dealer for decades, ultimately co-founding the first national illustration art museum - the NMAI.

Bridge Game - The Bid, 1948. Norman Rockwell



Norman Rockwell's America showcases the artist's career as America's most beloved illustrator. His paintings are vivid depictions of American lifestyles from bygone eras which still astoundingly find and resonate with new audiences into the 21st century. The 265 page book with hundreds of color images is also available here and at the NMAI MuseShop. This book allows viewers to experience Rockwell's work close-up and marvel at his unique creativity and uncanny technical expertise and skills.



Norman Rockwell in his studio, 1950



April Fools - Girl with Shop Keeper, 1948. Norman Rockwell




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Admissions Desk
National Museum of American Illustration
492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840
T: 401-851-8949 ext. 18, F: 401-851-8974 


Starting Friday, May 24, open Thursday though Sunday, 11am to 5pm for general admissions, and also Memorial Day. Open year round Fridays from 11am to 5pm, with a guided tour at 3pm. Open all other times for group tours by advance reservation.



Adults: $18; Seniors (60+) & Military: $16; Students: $12; Children ages 5 to 12: $8. Children ages 5 to 12 are permitted only if they are vouchsafed by parents or guardians as being 'well-behaved.'


Aerial View of The NMAI from North looking Southwards towards Victoria Avenue and NMAI's Frederick Law Olmsted Park; cars along Bellevue Avenue seen at right

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 Carrére 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.


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