August 18, 2011









As a marked contrast to the nostalgic images of early to mid-twentieth century Americana painted by Norman Rockwell currently on exhibit at the NMAI as part of this summer's Norman Rockwell: American Imagist exhibition, the Museum is also exhibiting works of social satire and caricature of 1970s American life by noted author, critic and illustrator of his times Tom Wolfe, entitled In Our Time.


While Wolfe is best known for his works as an author, it is often overlooked that his talents also include illustration. The majority of artworks in the exhibition are from the author's book by the same name, published in 1980. Wolfe captures the essence of the trends and icons of  the 1970s, the 'Me Decade'. He successfully satirizes them with the acerbic wit and keen cultural insight that he is renowned for in his prose - and it is every bit as apparent in his illustrations. 

The Dallas Morning News wrote of In Our Time upon its publication, "The sometimes exaggerated yet always vivid, colorful style that makes Wolfe the master of the printed word also marks his art, of course. Indeed, mere words cannot adequately describe the sly humor, biting sarcasm or sharp insights of these drawings..."


Right: caricature of Tom Wolfe by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Paul Szep






clockwise from top left: Tom Wolfe's Rabid Taxi Driver, The Delinquent, The Man Who Peaked Too Soon, and Evolution of the Species, all from his 1980 book, In Our Time



With those words in mind, the NMAI invites you to visit and see first hand these unique, insightful, and incisive illustrations by the author of such well known books as The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and so many others. The exhibition can be viewed until the conclusion of our weekend General Admissions hours on Sunday, September 4, or on our Friday 3pm tours continuing into 2012.  The Museum is also open for guided group tours year round by advance reservation.












left: Author-Illustrator Tom Wolfe delivering an address on the virtues of illustration vs. modern art at the NMAI's 10th Anniversary Gala









below: NMAI Museum Director Judy Cutler with illustrator-author Tom Wolfe at NMAI's July 29, 2010 10th Anniversary Celebration


Above: NMAI Founders Judy and Laurence Cutler present Tom Wolfe with the American Civilization Award, at NMAI's 10th Anniversary Celebration





for visitors when making purchase of $50 or more



Beginning Friday, August 19, 2011, NMAI offers a 15% discount for all purchases of $50 or more, excluding sale items, out-of-stock merchandise, and TruChrome limited edition prints. A discount of 10% will be applied to all TruChrome purchases.  This promotion will continue through Friday, December 23, 2011.




With the NMAI Museum Shop's eclectic inventory of collectible, unique, and hard to find illustration-themed items, this is the perfect opportunity to save on early holiday shopping while visiting the first and largest museum dedicated to Illustration art- the most American of American art.  Products include stationery, fountain pens, sculpture, Meyda Tiffany stained glass lighting, lithophanes, collectible posters and art prints, Franklin Mint collectibles, books,  walking sticks, jewelry, puzzles, anon.











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For Reservations:

Eric Brocklehurst
National Museum of American Illustration

492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840
T: 401-851-8949 ext. 18, F: 401-851-8974 


The Museum is open Fridays for a guided tour only at 3pm sharp, and year-round for visitors and Group Tours by advance reservations. Open for General Admissions weekends 11am to 5pm from May 28 through September 4. 



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.'



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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