Norman Rockwell's Arlington: America's Home Town
On view in the Local History Gallery through January 2020
From roughly 1920 to 1960, Arlington was the center of an influential community of artists whose work shaped our image of America. Led by Norman Rockwell, these artists produced hundreds of illustrations for major magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, ads for major corporations and influential public service campaigns. Norman Rockwell's Arlington: America's Home Town chronicles Rockwell and the other artists who lived in Arlington, as well as the many local residents who posed for the scenes of everyday life they portrayed. Some of the most iconic images we know of life in America were in fact, portraits of Arlington's citizens.
A centerpiece of the exhibit are prints of Norman Rockwell’s famous paintings of the Four Freedoms that created a national sensation when they appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. The popularity of the paintings fueled a national campaign to support the cost of World War II through the sale of War Bonds. The exhibit explains how Arlington residents who modeled for the paintings helped raise the equivalent of more than one billion dollars by touring the country promoting the bonds.
The exhibit is a collaborative effort of The Canfield Gallery and The Russell Collection of Vermontiana, located in the Martha Canfield Memorial Free Library in Arlington, Vermont. It was curated by Don Trachte Jr., a Rockwell model and son of Don Trachte, one of the Arlington artists who drew the famous Henry cartoon strip for more than 50 years.