Sunday, December 23, 2012

Norman Rockwell, An American Icon

Kim and I  have both wanted to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and we finally got to go there on our way up to Vermont and got to view his complete collection of paintings.

This is the museum where his paintings and exhibits are found. The house where he lived and painted, which is just next to this...up the hill... was not open for visiting.

When you enter, there's the obligatory store to the left (where you can drop loads of cash on Norman Rockwell key chains, pens, magnets...oh....and a few of his painting reproductions). In front are two large viewing areas. Downstairs you will find his entire collection of Saturday Evening Post covers on the walls as well as a short movie of his life.

Norman Rockwell considered himself a storyteller, not just an artist. Here are some of his painting. I'm sure you'll recognize a number of them and you can see for yourself his storytelling ability in his art. I'll caption some of these but mostly they're here for your "viewing enjoyment".

You can see Rockwell has painted himself into this one....the guy with the pipe.

This one is called "The Gossip" and, if you follow the characters through, you'll see the very first lady is also at the very end, being scolded by her husband. Rockwell used local people as his models and, because many were somewhat offended by being seeing as gossips  he put himself as the husband at the end....who happened to be what all the gossip was about!

First time on a train and he's trying to figure out how far his money will go. The kind expression on the porter's face is evident.

I zoomed in on the porter's face to show the wonderful way in which Rockwell captured the expression.

Rockwell is painting himself younger and with less gray. Look at the swatches in the upper right of his canvas....famous portrait Van Gogh.

LOVE this one....such humanness seen here.

The Homecoming...look at his shy girlfriend hiding along the side.

The shoe repairman...trying to figure out how to fix the girl's doll's broken shoe.

Terrific before-and-after depiction of a family day trip.

The soldier swore he was through with peeling potatoes once he got out of the army but, once he got home with Mom, it seemed to be the best thing to do in the whole world.

This one is perfect for our Christmas season.
Norman Rockwell did approximately 317 covers for the Saturday Evening are just a few...each one telling a story....

Men drove way too fast for their wives even back then!
This was a great trip down memory lane. I encourage all of you to visit this museum and to check out the website:

Kim and Steve

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame

We did the Pro Football Hall of Fame last and now it's time for the Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF) located in Cooperstown, New York.

A gorgeous entrance. Very classy place.

This HOF was much more extensive than the football one. We ran out of steam after about 3 much to see.

Of course, the first place we went right to was the hall of fame plaque room.

On the left and right are all the plaques of the members, year by year. 
At the end of the room in the distance are the (1936) first year's members' plaques:
Top left, Christy Mathewson;
Bottom Left, Babe Ruth
Center, Ty Cobb
Top Right, Honus Wagner
Bottom Right, Walter Johnson

Willie favorite ball player when I was growing up.

Juan Marichal

Willie McCovey. I can still remember the exact place I was in the playground in 1962 when Willie hit a screaming line drive (which should've won the World Series for the Giants) but instead went right into the glove of second baseman, Bobby Richardson (Yankees) to end the game and win the World Series for the Yankees.

Gaylord Perry (Mr Spitball)

Sandy Koufax

Stan Musial (I used to imitate his batting stance when I hit left-handed)

Ted Williams

Orlando Cepeda

Ty Cobb

Scout Report on Sandy Koufax...notice all the A's.

The entire upstairs two floors were dedicated to the history of baseball, all the baseball records, the teams that won world series, special exhibits....well, you get the point....LOTS to see !!!

Stan Musial's locker

Mickey Mantle's locker

A tribute to the man with the most hits of all time, Pete Rose. Oh wait....he's not been elected yet to the Hall of Fame. Don't get me started on THAT subject!!!

All of the teams had one of these lockers...all in one large room. There were TVs playing past World Series as we walked around so if you got tired of seeing stuff, you could sit down and just watch some baseball being played.

Terrific photo of a "difference of opinion" between the umpire and the manager.

These life size statues of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams are carved entirely out of wood!

This bronze cast sculpture by Stanley Bleifeld outside the National Baseball Hall of Fame captures a scene from the final game of the 1955 World Series.

There was a large room dedicated to just baseball radio.

Pretty cool touch on the fences.

Kim thought the bricks were unique...hence, this photo.

...but here...the walls changed....hmmmmm.

Wonderful entrance...very inviting.

Outside was this large scoreboard that showed all the games being played as well as all the current standings.

Of course, there was lots and lots more to see. Heck, the baseball records section was overwhelming ..knowing baseball's proclivity (big word huh?) to be obsessed with stats.

We really should have gone in, looked around for an hour or so, then come back after lunch to finish up. We got glassy eyed after a while. But well worth the time to see it all. Another dream checked off our list! (well, maybe just Steve's list).

Kim and Steve