As spring ended, I told the family that the one thing I really wanted to do during the summer was going to the Norman Rockwell Museum to see the work of cartoonist Roz Chast, having loved her material in the New Yorker magazine for decades. When my friend David Brickman reviewed the show, which had opened on June 6, in July, it just intensified my desire.
Life being what it is, we didn’t make it to the Stockbridge, MA site until October 24, a mere two days before the close of the Chast exhibit, even though it’s only an hour away from Albany, NY. As it turned out, they were having a show outdoors featuring vintage cars; it cost $10 per carload, but the price would apply to going inside the museum, so no big deal.
The linchpin of the Chast portion of the exhibit was her first graphic memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (2014), about her aging parents, “who were in the same fifth-grade class.” There was “her gentle, worrywart father, George” (d. 2007) and “her strong-willed mother, Elizabeth” (d. 2009), educators both, “who subscribed to The New Yorker and inspired” their only child’s “art and world view.” I could have read the whole book right there, on the walls, but I perused enough to know that it’ll be on my Christmas list.
The Daughter preferred some of her other work, such as What I Hate from A to Z, also shown in its entirety. The video about the Brooklyn-born artist was quite entertaining as well.
We’d been to the museum at least twice before, but there were works by Rockwell I had never seen before, notably Glen Canyon Dam; the texture of this painting is lost in the photograph, because, up close, this is a STUNNING piece.
Oddly, a section called Love a Vet: Honoring Our Veterans was already open; the website had given the dates as from November 7, 2015, through January 5, 2016. The playing card format of the works from various artists was very effective.
Finally, I checked out the vehicles outdoors, which were of many makes and models from the 1930s to the 1980s. I’m not a “car guy,” but the 1936 Rolls Royce was, as they say, sweet.