On view at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, through Oct. 31, 2010, is the exhibition, William Steig: Love and Laughter. First known for his New Yorker cartoons, William Steigg (1907-2003) also created children’s books, including Shrek!, which inspired the popular animated film series. The exhibition is built around works donated to the Norman Rockwell Museum by the artist’s widow, Jeanne Steig; it includes original drawings from Shrek! and Alpha Beta Chowder, a book illustrated by William Steig, and illustrated by his wife Jeanne, which are on loan from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
William Steig: Love and Laughter. shines a light on several key stages in Steig’s artistic career: from his early gag cartoons for The New Yorker; the stream-of-consciousness symbolic artworks influenced by his ongoing fascination with psychology and Pablo Picasso; to his later works as a beloved author and with llustrator of children’s books and novels. The exhibition examines recurrent themes in both artists works– from the wonders of childhood to the intricacies of friendship and romance– with inspiration drawn from mythology and classic literature.
During his lifetime, William Steig created more than 1600 hundred drawings and one hundred seventeen covers for The New Yorker, and authored and illustrated more than twenty children’s picture books, often with an existential bent. “I think I feel a little differently than other people do. For some reason I’ve never felt grown up,” observed the artist. “Steig was a keen observer of the world around him,” notes Norman Rockwell Museum Deputy Director Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, who curated the exhibition with the assistance of curators Corry Kanzenberg and Joyce K. Schiller. “He was a gifted draftsman with an exceptional ability to communicate universally understood concepts in a single image.”
Exhibition-related events at the Norman Rockwell Museum
- American Storyteller
Uncommon Treasures: An Evening with Jeanne Steig
Thursday, July 8, 5:30 p.m.
- SuperSteig Day! Festivities for Families
Saturday, July 24, 1 to 4 p.m.
- American Storyteller
Comic Genius: An Evening with Cartoonist Liza Donnelly
Thursday, August 12, 5:30 p.m.
- American Storyteller
The Naked Cartoonist: An Evening with Robert Mankoff
Thursday, August 19, 5:30 p.m.
- Laugh Out Loud! Festivities for Families
Saturday, August 14, 1 to 4 p.m.
- Rotten Island! A Halloween Bash
Sunday, October 31, 2 to 4 p.m.
For ages 6 and up
Spend an evening with Jeanne Steig, a self-taught visual artist working almost exclusively in street finds and other discarded materials. The author of several books of light verse and prose including Alpha Beta Chowder; A Handful of Beans, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; and A Gift from Zeus: Sixteen Favorite Myths, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and New York Times Notable Book, Ms. Steig is the widow of noted illustrator William Steig, and her art is currently on view in William Steig: Love & Laughter. Free with Museum admission.
Join us for an afternoon of family fun with Jeanne Steig, whose inspired creations assembled from found objects are sure to delight. Mrs. Steig, whose dimensional creations are on view, will help you turn trash into treasures during a lively art workshop for all ages. Storytelling with Ann Underland, music, interactive gallery adventures and more will celebrate William Steig: Love and Laughter and the art of the beloved illustrator. Kids free to age 18, adults free with Museum admission.
Explore the art of The New Yorker through the eyes of its ingenious comic creators. A cartoonist for the magazine for more than 25 years, Liza Donnelley will share the best illustrated jokes, gag cartoons, and slice-of-life drawings, offering a rare first-hand glimpse of the creative process. Ms. Donnelley’s latest book, When Do They Serve the Wine, along with Funny Ladies, Sex and Sensibility, and Cartoon Marriage, will be available for signing at a reception with the artist following the program. Free with Museum admission.
Join New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff for an uproarious look at
the art of humor. One of the nation’s leading comic commentators, Mr. Mankoff originated The Cartoon Bank and the Cartoon Caption Contest, and is the creator of the magazine’s best-loved comic images. A regular guest on The Daily Show, he is also the author of The Naked Cartoonist: A New Way
to Enhance Your Creativity, The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, and many other cartoon collections. A book-signing and reception with the artist will follow the program. Free with Museum admission.
Laugh along with your children in this Shrek-alicious family festival filled with music, storytelling, and art-making inspired by the art of William Steig. Kids free to age 18, adults free with Museum admission.