Rockwell exhibit swells Craig museum attendance

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— The Museum of Northwest Colorado unveiled an exhibit in mid-May showcasing one of America’s most well-known artists: Norman Rockwell.

Nearly a month later, the crowds still are coming.

“We have been busy; there’s no two ways about it,” museum registrar Mary Pat Dunn said about the foot traffic generated by a display of Rockwell’s art for The Saturday Evening Post.

The exhibit opened May 14 and features all 323 covers Rockwell illustrated for the Post as well as “Spirit of Education,” an original painting on loan from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

In May, nearly 2,200 visitors streamed into the museum, compared with about 1,400 visitors in May 2011.

“There’s been a lot of people that mentioned that they come specifically for Rockwell,” Assistant Director Janet Gerber said.

The surge follows a four-month period from January through April when the museum’s attendance numbers lagged 8 percent behind the same months in 2011, she said.

Attendance “was down significantly, and now it’s up even more significantly, so it’s exciting,” Gerber said.

Rockwell enthusiasts will have a chance to learn more about the artist’s life and work when Tom Daly, curator of education at the Norman Rockwell Museum, offers two presentations June 16 in Craig.

The lectures are free and take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at The Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

The temporary exhibit will remain at the museum through Sept. 28.

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