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N.C. Museum of Art Announces Exhibition for Reopening November 2010
Norman Rockwell, "Triple Self-Portrait", 1959. Oil on canvas, 44 1/2 x 34 1/3 inches. Cover illustration for 'The Saturday Evening Post', February 13, 1960, Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust, NRACT.1973.19. ©1959 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, Ind.

RALEIGH, NC.- In the fall of 2010 the Museum’s East Building will reopen as the Center for Special Exhibitions and Education with an unprecedented five special exhibitions. "American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell"; "Bob Trotman: Inverted Utopias"; "Fins and Feathers: Original Children’s Book Illustrations from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art"; "Binh Danh: In the Eclipse of Angkor"; and "James John Audubon’s: The Birds of America" open concurrently on November 7.

“We’re excited to announce this significantly expanded special exhibition schedule that will expose visitors to a range of artistic expression,” said Museum Director Lawrence Wheeler. “Next year the East Building will come alive with a variety of art experiences from contemporary photography and Rockwell to works by North Carolinians and exhibitions that touch even our youngest visitors,” he said.

With the Museum’s permanent collection moving to the new West Building, the existing East Building will become a dynamic center for rotating exhibitions and educational programs. The 9,200-square-foot former European Gallery, 3,000-square-foot former American Gallery, and two focus galleries will be transformed into five special exhibition galleries, including a permanent space devoted to showing work by North Carolina artists. As part of the Museum’s ongoing commitment to the citizens of the state, the new North Carolina Gallery will feature both emerging and established artists. Solo and thematic shows will rotate twice a year.

"American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell"
November 7, 2010–January 30, 2011

Featuring 40 original works of art and a decade-by-decade installation of 323 Saturday Evening Post covers, American Chronicles traces the art of Norman Rockwell throughout his storied career. As the nation's premier illustrator across six decades, Rockwell captured the idyll and charm of Main Street America for the covers pages of the nation's most prominent publication.

Though best known for his carefully choreographed portraits of American life, Rockwell also sought to illustrate the difficult social issues of the day. At the height of his career in the 1960s, he tackled such controversial subjects as desegregation, the Vietnam War, and the civil rights movement. Visitors will see both sides of the beloved illustrator in this retrospective that explores Rockwell’s artistic contributions and the impact of his images on popular culture.

"Bob Trotman: Inverted Utopias"
November 7, 2010–March 27, 2011

"Inverted Utopias", the inaugural exhibition in the Museum’s new North Carolina Gallery, presents more than 20 works of art by figurative sculptor Bob Trotman. A native of North Carolina, Trotman began his career as a furniture maker, gradually moving away from functional objects to creating sculpture with a human presence.

Trotman’s carved and painted wood sculptures depict anonymous characters that appear to be in states of flux or change. Clothed in 1950s-style dresses or business suits, his “model citizens” convey an air of Rockwell nostalgia, but their startling poses—upside down, poised on the brink of leaping, or sinking into the floor—and cracked façades contradict an idealized image of American life. Simultaneously humorous and disquieting, Trotman’s figures are infused with enigmatic narratives that lie beneath their carved surfaces.

The exhibition includes loans from the artist, private collections, and museums, along with an existing work in the Museum’s collection. The Museum will also commission a major new work by Trotman for the exhibition that will remain on view as part of the permanent collection.

"Fins and Feathers: Original Children’s Book Illustrations from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art"
November 7, 2010–January 30, 2011

"Fins and Feathers" celebrates the artistic achievements of children’s book artists with 33 original storybook illustrations from the late 1960s through today. Focused entirely on images of friendly and comical creatures, Fins and Feathers features some of the best works from the collection of 'The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass'.

The exhibition includes a number of pictures by Arnold Lobel, who illustrated classic stories in 'The Random House Book of Poetry' and 'The Random House Book of Mother Goose'. Also highlighted are works by Leo Lionni, Eric Carle, Petra Mathers, and Ashley Bryan, the award-winning author and illustrator of Beat the 'Story-Drum, Pum-Pum', a collection of Nigerian folktales.

"Binh Danh: In the Eclipse of Angkor"
November 7, 2010–January 30, 2011

In the "Eclipse of Angkor" presents new work by Vietnamese-born photographer Binh Danh. The exhibition includes chlorophyll prints, found butterfly specimens, and Daguerreotypes that document and interpret the genocide in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. This body of work stemmed from Danh’s 2008 trip to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Choeung Ek, the site of the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge; and Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s famous Khmer temple.

Danh has emerged as an artist of national and international importance with work that investigates his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war. Danh describes his photographs, appropriating and transforming archival images, as a way of trying to recover the past. To create his chlorophyll prints, he places a photographic negative on a leaf and exposes it to the sun for varying lengths of time, allowing photosynthesis to transfer the image onto the plant. Through his unique process Danh reconstructs memory and history, and his methods and materials comment on the fragility and elusive nature of both.

The Museum acquired one of Danh’s chlorophyll prints in 2008. In the "Eclipse of "Angkor was organized by the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, Roanoke, Va., in collaboration with the artist, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Haines Gallery, San Francisco, Calif.

"James John Audubon’s: The Birds of America"
Opens November 7, 2010

For the first time, a treasure of art publishing that has belonged to the State of North Carolina since 1848 will be exhibited in its entirety. In recent decades the Museum’s copy of "The Birds of America" has been unavailable for viewing, except for a small number of prints separated from the volumes. The recently restored four-volume set will be on view in a new gallery devoted to the famous 19th-century artist and naturalist.

The Birds of America is made up of 435 life-size, hand-colored prints produced by engraving and aquatint. The ensemble represents a heroic life’s work that required Audubon to search for perfect specimens and undocumented species of birds in the rough backwoods of a young nation. While preceding bird illustrators painted their subjects looking lifeless and out of context, Audubon was the first artist to vividly portray birds in their natural habitats.

Only about 200 complete sets of "The Birds of America" exist today. The spectacular, 40-inch-tall volumes will be on display in new cases fitted with hydraulic lifts that enable the pages to be turned regularly. During the long-term exhibition, a majority of the prints will be on view.

N.C. Museum of Art | American Chronicles | Bob Trotman | Fins and Feathers | Lawrence Wheeler |

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