Stockbridge, MA—Norman Rockwell Museum will celebrate the 75th anniversary of one of Norman Rockwell’s most enduring works during its Rosie the Riveter Day, to be held at the Museum on Saturday, May 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. Published on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in May of 1943, the iconic painting will be the theme for talks, workshops, music, and dance performances throughout the afternoon.
Starting at 1 p.m., the Museum’s Curator of Education Tom Daly will present an illustrated talk on the positive images of women, including Rosie the Riveter, created by Norman Rockwell throughout his career. At 1:30 p.m., Albany Berkshire Ballet will return to the Museum to present Rockwell Suites, a Rockwell-inspired dance performance, which includes a vignette dedicated to Rosie. At 2 p.m., members of the Rosie the Riveter Association will talk about their experiences working during World War II, followed by a 3 p.m. performance by the Berkshire Music School, who will perform popular music from the era.
The family-friendly event will also include a visit from Melanie Mowinksi, MCLA Associate Professor of Visual Art, who will invite visitors to help create one of her outdoor Paper Words art installations on the Museum’s grounds; as well as a Rosie the Riveter look-alike contest.
Rosie the Riveter Day is free for Museum members, children 18 and under, or included with regular Museum admission.
Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter received mass distribution on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Memorial Day, May 29, 1943. Rockwell’s illustration features a brawny woman taking her lunch break with a rivet gun on her lap, beneath her a copy of Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf and a lunch pail labled “Rosie.” Rockwell based the pose to match Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling painting of the prophet Isaiah. Rockwell’s model was a Vermont resident, 19-year-old Mary Doyle who was a telephone operator near where Rockwell lived, not a riveter. Rockwell painted his “Rosie” as a larger woman than his model, and he later phoned to apologize. The Post’s cover image proved hugely popular, and the magazine loaned it to the U.S. Treasury Department for the duration of the war, for use in war bond drives.
Rockwell Suites: Saturday, May 26th at 1:30. Norman Rockwell Museum, 9 Glendale Road, Stockbridge MA 01262