Arlington’s Artistic Heritage to be Featured at VT History Museum
A comprehensive exhibition exploring the vibrant history and influential art community of Arlington will be on display at the Vermont History Museum, 109 State Street, Montpelier, immediately adjacent to the State Capitol starting on July 30, and going through January of next year. From roughly 1920 to 1960, Arlington was the center of an influential community of artists whose work shaped the image of America. Led by Norman Rockwell, these artists produced hundreds of illustrations for major magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, ads for major corporations, and influential public service campaigns. Hugely popular before the advent of television, the lavishly illustrated weekly magazines were the most influential media of their day, bringing images of the world into the living rooms of millions of American families.
The exhibit, titled ‘Norman Rockwell’s Arlington: America’s Home Town,’ the exhibit chronicles Rockwell and the other artists who lived in Arlington, as well as the many local residents who modeled for the scenes of everyday life in America.
Some of the most iconic images we know of life in America were in fact, portraits of Arlington’s citizens. The centerpiece of the exhibit are prints of Rockwell’s famous paintings of the Four Freedoms, which created a national sensation when they appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. Their popularity fueled a national campaign to support the cost of World War II through the sale of War Bonds, helping to raise the equivalent of more than one billion dollars.
The exhibit is a collaborative effort of the Canfield Gallery and the Russell Collection of Vermontiana of the Arlington’s Martha Canfield Memorial Library, and was curated by Don Trachte Jr., a Rockwell model and son of Don Trachte, who drew the famous ‘Henry’ cartoon strip for over 50 years.
An opening reception for the public will be announced shortly. For more information, call the Library at 802-375-6153 or visit marthacanfieldlibrary.org.