Friday, May 3, 2013

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Serves Up Norman Rockwell & Ceasar Salad

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Norman Rockwell 
Showing 50 of his Original Paintings and 
all 323 of his Saturday Evening Post Covers

The amazing Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art located in Bentonville, Arkansas is now hosting an exhibition of one of America's most popular artists, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978).

Over the past 50 to 75 years 99% of all America adults knew the names of only two artists: Norman Rockwell and Picasso. Picasso represented the modern art they didn't understand and Rockwell represented the art they understood and loved. A squeaky clean, moral and shined-up America - he created an America the way Americans wanted to see themselves.

Norman Rockwell was a gifted storyteller, a silent raconteur. If a normal picture is worth a thousand words, Rockwell's pictures were worth tens of thousands of words. The artist had a knack for telling a complete, yet simple story, in every painting - the beginning, middle and the end, it was all there. "I love to tell stories in pictures." Rockwell is quoted as saying, "To me, the story is the first thing and the last thing." He didn't have to worry about his technique and painting skills distracting from the story he wanted to tell, Rockwell seemed to have possessed complete mastery of art, especially his enhanced realistic style, from his first assignment on.

Before photography started dominating journalism in the 1950's, illustration was KING and Rockwell's paintings graced more than 300 covers of the Saturday Evening Post magazine. All 323 of Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers are on view in this exhibition.

Include in the exhibition are several beloved and well-known paintings, including Triple Self-Portrait (1960), Girl at Mirror (1954), Going and Coming (1947), and The Art Critic (1955). Also included are paintings of presidents: Lincoln as a courtroom lawyer, a Dwight D. Eisenhower portrait, a Nixon portrait and a John F. Kennedy portrait. Plus: Original famous posters from "FDR's FOUR FREEDOMS" (1943), and the painting: "Boy in a Dining Car" (1946). In the 1960's Rockwell was commissioned to cover both the turbulence of the times ("Murder in Mississippi" -1965 painted for a Look Magazine story) and the excitement of the space program.  
Exhibition Overview:
Everyone will enjoy this exhibition, from the experienced art lover to people who have never been to an art museum before - this exhibition is worth seeing! Rockwell was an American master and with close examination one sees how confidant the artist was on his final canvases, with very little paint actually being applied. Most surprisingly is how much of the art is actually pencil, something you would never realize by looking at printed reproductions.

Kevin Murphy, Crystal Bridges curator of American art, said, “Rockwell’s images helped bring art to a broad segment of the public. His illustrations are so recognizable and popular that they helped make painted images part of mainstream visual culture.” 
An audio guide is also available and gives the viewer insights into several paintings and parts of the exhibition. A wide range of public programs are also offered at the museum in conjunction with the exhibition, including lectures, gallery talks, art workshops and more.  American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell was organized through the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

To see more of the art on view at Crystal Bridges see out original write-up about America's Great New Museum in the Heartland.
We are now officially into Salad Season
"ELEVEN" Restaurant at Crystal Bridges Museum serves a wonderful Ceasar Salad with Shrimp. "ELEVEN" is known as one of the most interesting restaurants in the region.
(Note: this is arts n food's recipe for Ceasar Salad with grilled shrimp) 

    • 2 large heads of romaine lettuce, use only the narrow hearts (18 to 24 leaves - 6 to 8 of these leaves per serving - enjoy and appreciate their light green color!
    • 1 large garlic clove, peeled & crushed
    • 1 large egg coddled
    • 1 whole lemon, halved & seeded
    • several drops of the Worcestershire sauce
    • freshly grated imported Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • freshly shaved curls of Parmesan cheese. 
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil
    • pinch salt
    • pinch fresh-ground black pepper 

Use only the hearts of the romaine lettuce, the tender short leaves in the center and present them whole not torn. Rinse and dry the leaves (keep the leaves refrigerated until ready to prepare)

For the dressing, mix with a fork vigorously into an emulsion: 
1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 large pinches of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 finely minced garlic, several drops of the Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, the juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon and the one minute (coddled) egg(To coddle an egg, bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer. Pierce the large end of the egg with a pushpin to prevent cracking, then simmer for exactly 1 minute.)

The salad greens are then tossed with the dressing in the mixing bowl, gently turning to coat every leaf. 

Arranged the leaves on each plate, add grilled shrimp, top with a curl of Parmigiano-Reggiano and some freshly prepared croutons.
(1 cup of diced garlic bread with butter - brown to crisp stage in the oven)  

Yield: 2-3 servings. 

There are limitless variations on Ceasar Salad:

  • grilled shrimp added
  • cubes of grilled chicken added 
  • capers added
  • anchovies added
  • diced bacon added

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness in the Arts and in Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & "Original Assigned Photography" are © Copyright 2013 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All art gallery, museum, art fair or art festival photographs were used with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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