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The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Moving image collection

Repository: Norman Rockwell Museum. Archives

Collection Description (CRHP): The Moving Image Collection consists of more than 500 films, most of which were originally recorded to videotape. More than half of the collection consists of unique films produced by the Museum, including oral history interviews with Norman Rockwell's sons, models, friends, and colleagues. Other Museum productions feature interviews with noted American illustrators, such as David Macaulay, Stan and Jan Berenstain, and Drew Struzan.

Among the earliest films are copies of Rockwell's television appearances on The Bob Hope Show (1954), and Person to Person with Edward R. Murrow (1959), as well as a promotional film for Pan American World Airways (1955).

Additional films within the collection document lectures delivered at the Norman Rockwell Museum, with guest speakers such as Ruby Bridges, Robert Rosenblum, and Gregory Crewdson. A small amount of footage relates directly to the Museum's institutional memory, including oral history interviews with founders, footage of Rockwell's studio as it was moved to the Museum campus, and a television advertisement for the Museum's first building campaign starring President Ronald Reagan.

Scope and Content Note:
Several films record the memories of people involved with Rockwell's work related to the Civil Rights Movement. These include interviews with Tracey and Wray Gunn, models for New Kids in the Neighborhood [(Negro in the Suburbs) 1967], who discuss posing for Norman Rockwell, as well as Lynda and Elaine Gunn, who talk about Lynda's modeling experience for The Problem We All Live With (1963). Pauline Adams, model for United Nations (1953), Golden Rule (1961), and The War on Poverty (1965), speaks about what it was like when her family first traveled from Cambridge, New York, to Arlington, Vermont for a posing session with Rockwell. Adams also discusses childhood remembrances of meeting Grandma Moses, and singing spirituals to help support her family.

Ira Mothner, former editor of Look magazine, tells of working with Rockwell during the artist's creative transition to more socially conscious artworks focused on America's Civil Rights Movement, the Peace Corps, and the Vietnam War. Another film features Ruby Bridges, whose experience of being the first black student to integrate a white school in New Orleans influenced the subject of Rockwell's 1963 painting, The Problem We All Live With. Featured twice as both a guest speaker and the subject of an oral history interview, she tells her personal story, and reflects on Rockwell's artwork.

Series Description:
I. Norman Rockwell and Family: Oral History Interviews, Lectures, and Candid Footage
II. Oral History Interviews with Norman Rockwell Models
III. Oral History Interviews with Norman Rockwell's Friends and Colleagues
IV. American Illustrators: Interviews and Lectures
V. Norman Rockwell Museum Notable Guest Speakers
VI. Institutional Film Archives

Collection Description (Extant): Films consisting of oral history interviews, lectures, public events, and commercial media productions, which relate to the life and work of Norman Rockwell, American illustration, and Norman Rockwell Museum institutional memory.

Access Copy Note: Very few films from this collection have been digitized. The museum is seeking grant funding to reformat select material. The films are on the following formats: video disc, VHS, miniDV, Betacam, and 16mm film.

Date(s): 1954-present

Digital Status: Partial

Existing IDs: RC.2010.11

Extent: 23 linear ft

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail civil rights collection for more about Elaine Gunn.

The Kentucky Historical Society has a collection that consists of interviews with Jesse Grider, a police officer depicted in the painting The Problem We All Live With (1963).

Interviewees: Tracey Gunn, Wray Gunn, Lynda Gunn, Elaine Gunn, Pauline Adams, Ira Mothner, Ruby Bridges

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights

Subjects:

Artists
Civil rights movements in art
Civil rights movements--Press coverage
Media
Rockwell, Norman, 1894-1978
School integration--Louisiana--New Orleans

Genres:

Interviews
Videorecordings

 

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   March 5, 2012
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