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Exhibition - Cultural Traditions: A Holiday Celebration

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:00am

Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Glendale Road, Route 183
Stockbridge, MA 01262

Cultural Traditions: A Holiday Celebration explores the commonality and distinctiveness of peoples and their traditions around the world through the art and stories in children’s picture books. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Chinese New Year are celebrated in 30 original works created by six award-winning children’s book illustrators, highlighting our shared hopes and dreams for our communities and families.
Works featured in the exhibition include:

Dusk by Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator and author Uri Shulevitz. This whimsical 2013 picture book follows the journey of a grandfather, grandson, and their dog, through the streets of New York City “as nature’s lights out” and the “city’s lights come on.” Shulevitz’s ink and watercolor illustrations bring the distinct mood of early winter and its various holiday light displays—Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and sunset—to life.

The Night of Las Posadas by author and illustrator Tomie dePaola. The Smithsonian Medal and Children’s Literature Legacy Award-winning artist brings a Southwest style to his 1999 folktale celebrating Hispanic holiday traditions. The artist’s acrylic-on-handmade watercolor paper illustrations help bring this charming story of a Christmas Eve miracle to life.

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Gennady Spirin. The Russian-born artist and recipient of numerous Society of Illustrators Gold Medal Awards, lends his sense of design and nostalgia to this 2006 rendering of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic holiday poem. The Russian art tradition permeates Spirin’s gold-tinted illustrations, created in watercolor and colored pencil.

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, created by author Andrea Davis Pinkney and her husband/illustrator David Pinkney. The couple, each a former recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, tell the story of the African holiday of Kwanzaa through an overview of traditions, Swahili translations, and Brian Pinkney’s colorful scratchboard illustrations. The 1993 picture book serves as a useful guide to the holiday named for the “first fruits of the harvest.”

Bringing in the New Year by Newbery Award-winning illustrator and author Grace Lin. The artist, recognized as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling by President Barack Obama, tells the story of a family celebrating the customs and traditions of the Chinese New Year through her illustrations rendered in colorful gouache watercolor. Lin’s bright and decorative artwork mirrors the festive holiday.

Organized by Norman Rockwell Museum, Cultural Traditions: A Holiday Celebration has been curated by Barbara Rundback, Associate Registrar/Curatorial Assistant, Norman Rockwell Museum.

Images provided by, Ticketmaster

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