FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—New Orleans, LA—Nov. 3—Iconic, a company that expands cultural experiences with digital innovation, is excited to unveil the inaugural edition of Studio Sessions: The Norman Rockwell Collection, limited print and matching digital (NFT) editions that celebrate the beloved artist’s in-depth creative process.
This first “Session” will feature eight process works by the legendary American artist Norman Rockwell, which informed the autobiographical painting Waiting for the Art Editor (1970), which both heralds the arrival of emerging artists and art forms and honors a historic line of influential creators who came before. The collection includes never-before released process editions from the Norman Rockwell Archives and marks the first on-chain footprint for the master American illustrator.
The project is produced in collaboration with Norman Rockwell Museum, the Rockwell Family, and IMG, the Rockwell Family’s global licensing representative. The collection will be available to purchase on November 15. Please visit rockwell.iconicmoments.co for more information.
Project proceeds will benefit Norman Rockwell Museum’s core mission of conserving and presenting illustration art; ensuring broad public access to this cultural heritage; and inspiring scholarship and study around published imagery in society. Proceeds will also benefit the Rockwell Family's administration of the artist's work and legacy.
About Studio Sessions
Norman Rockwell’s paintings and illustrations featuring everyday scenes of American life have become ingrained in popular culture. What is less known is that virtually every Rockwell painting was carefully orchestrated with a multi-step artistic process (e.g. preliminary sketches; extensive photography sessions with models; object studies; detailed environmental prototypes; full-scale drawings; painted color studies, etc.). The in-depth planning and staging allowed Rockwell to envision and perfect each element of a final work before it was brought to life on canvas. When viewed alongside the eventual masterpiece, these process pieces reveal Rockwell's eye for detail and offer unparalleled insights into the imagination and intent of one of the twentieth century's most influential artists.
Drawn from the artist’s archive of over 50,000 archival negatives and printed reference photographs cared for and stewarded at Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, each “Studio Session” will include a selection of archival and process works curated thematically around a celebrated Rockwell painting. With each purchase, collectors will receive a limited-edition, museum-quality print and a matching digital edition (NFT) that will also serve as a non-fungible Certificate of Authenticity.
"His creative process was meticulous, each stage a labor of love,” shares Margaret Rockwell, representing the Rockwell Family. “ Studio Sessions resonates deeply with our family, as it not only captures and communicates the intent behind Norman Rockwell’s art, but also the spirit of the artist himself. "
“By transforming Rockwell’s artistic process into limited print and digital editions (NFTs), we invite a new generation to enjoy Rockwell’s classical American illustration,” says Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt. “Rockwell’s work is eternally fresh, being both of a particular cultural moment and reflecting enduring human situations and values. At the Museum, we embrace new media platforms that fit within the centuries-old tradition of illustration art publishing.”
First Session: Waiting for the Art Editor
The program opens with a curated collection of eight limited digital and print editions of Rockwell’s artistic studies and process works that contributed to the painting Waiting for the Art Editor (1970). The collection includes one color study, one charcoal study, a set of photographs of staged model sessions, two portraits of Rockwell modeling character expressions, and one contact sheet featuring a series of portraits of Rockwell working on the painting in his studio. It is the first time that any of the works have been published.
In Waiting for the Art Editor (1970), painted when Rockwell was 77 years of age, Rockwell recounts the experience of a young artist visiting an art editor, just as he visited the Saturday Evening Post’s editor George Horace Lorimer in 1916 at the age of 22. Sitting on a sofa upright in a well-appointed art editor's lobby, the young artist’s body language, clothing style, flowing auburn hair and wistful expression give him an aura of youthful optimism. In contrast, sitting on the right, is an older artist, smartly dressed in a pin-striped suit, holding a cane, and hunched slightly forward. In envisioning this scenario, Rockwell may have been thinking of friend, mentor, and New Rochelle, NY neighbor, J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1951), twenty years Rockwell’s senior and a popular Post cover artist at the time. On the wall hangs a reproduction of the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, c. 1511, which served as the inspiration for Rockwell’s 1943 Post cover, Rosie the Riveter. The two artists sit side-by-side with their portfolios, waiting as equals for the editor's review. The scene honors Rockwell's admiration for previous generations of influential artists and celebrates the arrival of a new generation of artists and artforms.
Reflecting on the evolution of artistic production throughout Rockwell’s career, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum Stephanie Haboush Plunkett shares, "Through the decades, the art of mass culture has looked deeply into society, reflecting and shaping a rapidly changing world. As periodicals have been joined by new media, the impact of narrative imagery is arguably greater and richer than ever. In today's digital age, we are as happy as our predecessors to embrace new images and new art forms that show us who we are and who we may become.”
How it works
With each purchase, a collector will receive both a limited-edition print and matching digital (NFT) collectible that also serves as a certificate of authenticity. Web3 sales open on November 15, 2023, with first access given to Iconic Art Pass holders. On November 16, the collection will be available for purchase via credit card at rockwell.iconicmoments.co. For the most up-to-date information on the collection, pre-mint access, and art set reservations, please follow Iconic on X — https://twitter.com/iconic__culture.
About Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) is widely considered one of the most influential image-makers of the twentieth century. An artist whose career spanned seven decades, Rockwell painted 323 covers for The Saturday Evening Post, alongside hundreds of commissions for other leading magazines and periodicals. Rockwell’s legacy includes his iconic Four Freedoms paintings, inspired by President Roosevelt’s 1941 address to Congress, and his socially charged paintings for Look that chronicle and witness key moments in the 1960s civil rights struggle. In 1977, he received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Forming a major artistic record of America’s changing society, Rockwell’s work is collected and exhibited worldwide and continues to inspire new generations of artists and creators.
About Rockwell Family Agency
Norman Rockwell’s three sons established the Norman Rockwell Family Agency to promote, protect, and preserve their father’s art and his legacy.
About Norman Rockwell Museum
The Norman Rockwell Museum illuminates the power of American illustration art to reflect and shape society, and advances the enduring values of kindness, respect, and social equity portrayed by Norman Rockwell. It seeks to educate, enrich, and inspire a diverse, inclusive, and equitable world. Founded with the help of Norman and Molly Rockwell and located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the Museum holds the world's largest and most significant collection of Rockwell art, archival materials, and memorabilia, along with more than 20,000 works by noted American illustrators.
Iconic is a digital art platform and agency that expands cultural experience through digital innovation. Founded in 2015, Iconic is the recipient of the 2022 United Nations World Summit Award for Innovation in Culture & Tourism. Notable partners include The White House Historical Association, the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, and the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center
IMG is a global sports, events and representation company. It is a leader in rights management, multi-channel content production and distribution, consultancy and fan engagement; owns, produces and commercially represents hundreds of live events and experiences; and manages licensing programs for the world’s best-known brands and trademarks. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company. It is the global licensing agency for the Norman Rockwell Family Agency.
Studio Sessions: The Rockwell Collection, 2023
Background Image: Norman Rockwell (1894-1978). Waiting for the Art Editor, c. 1970. Color Study. Oil on Board. Norman Rockwell Museum Collection. © 1970 Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.