Press Room /  Press Releases

For Immediate Release

May 23, 2013



McNay Announces Summer Exhibition Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

On view June 5 | September 1, 2013


San Antonio, TX- Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is a landmark exhibition exploring in depth Rockwell's richly detailed study photographs, commissioned by the artist as references for his iconic paintings. Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, this presentation reveals a rarely seen yet fundamental aspect of Rockwell's creative process, and unveils a significant new body of Rockwell imagery in an unexpected medium.


Bringing together paintings, drawings, tear sheets, magazine covers, and prints of Rockwell study photographs results in a frame-by-frame view of the development of some of Rockwell's most indelible images.


"Norman Rockwell was a natural storyteller with an unerring eye for details," says Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Norman Rockwell Museum. "This ground-breaking exhibition shows how that narrative instinct found its first expression in the artist's meticulously composed photographs."


McNay director, William J. Chiego, states, "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera offers our audience a special opportunity to understand the creative process of one of our country's most beloved artists by showing us how Rockwell developed his iconic images. This exhibition takes us 'behind-the-scenes' to see a story-telling genius at work."

Early in his career, Rockwell hired professional models to pose for the characters in his paintings. Beginning in the mid-1930s, however, the evolving naturalism of his work led him to embrace photography. For Rockwell, the camera brought a new flesh-and-blood realism to his work, and opened a window to the keenly observed authenticity that defines his art. Working with friends and neighbors rather than professional models fired Rockwell's imagination by providing a wide array of everyday faces.


Rockwell's studio sessions allowed him to carefully orchestrate each element of his design for the camera, selecting props and locations, choosing and directing his models, even getting in on the action to pose and perform. Rockwell staged his photography much as a film director works with a cinematographer, instructing his cameramen when to shoot, yet never personally firing the shutter. He created dozens, perhaps hundreds of photographs for each new subject, sometimes capturing complete compositions and other times jigsawing together separate pictures of individual elements.


Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is accompanied by a catalogue of the same title, written by curator Ron Schick. The publication features an introduction by Haboush Plunkett and a foreword by Rockwell's grandson John Rockwell.


Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.


The Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992 is generously providing lead sponsorship.


Additional sponsors are the McCombs Foundation, the William and Salomé McAllen Scanlan Foundation, the Dan and Gloria Oppenheimer Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, Karen and Tim Hixon, Joanie and J.R. Hurd, the Director's Circle, and the Host Committee.



Images available upon request.  


The McNay

Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, her Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas's first museum of modern art when the McNay opened in 1954. Today more than 125,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In June 2008, the museum opened the 45,000-square-foot Jane & Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier. The site of major exhibitions, the Stieren Center also includes outdoor sculpture galleries



Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm; Thursday, 10 am-9 pm;

Saturday, 10 am-5 pm; Sunday, noon-5 pm.

The McNay is closed on Mondays, New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


Admission to the McNay

Admission to the McNay ranges from $10 to $15 (for adults) and $5 to $12 for (students, seniors and active military) depending on the exhibitions and galleries on view. Admission is FREE for McNay members and children 12 and under. Please visit for current admission prices. Entrance to Main Collection Galleries is FREE on H-E-B Thursday Nights(4-9pm) and on AT&T First Sundays of the Month. During FREE times, an optional admission charge applies only for entrance to special exhibitions. 



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