Norman Rockwell Museum
Sitting in a secluded area in Stockbridge Massachusetts is a museum dedicated to one of the United States most beloved artists -Norman Rockwell. The unassuming building houses original Saturday Evening Post covers along with the original canvases the covers were printed from.
Downstairs is the gallery for the Post covers spanning a time of almost 40 years. As you walk along from cover to cover your memory will be sparked and you'll say to yourself, either aloud or not, "I remember that one." Rockwell's work depicted iconic Americana, depicting small town life in the early 40's and 50's and then changing to reflect the times on into the 60's.
Rockwell used props and models to make his work realistic, sometimes even using himself as a model. Oftentimes you can spot him in the paintings much like Alfred Hitchcock in his own films. When you walk through the upper gallery and see the works the covers are based on, linger in front of them and take in the detail, the way the paint was laid on the canvas to create depth in the faces.
You don't have to be a art or history buff to appreciate the skill and talent that Norman Rockwell possessed. Whether it was paint or pencil, ink or charcoal Rockwell captured the true essence of American life.
Just a short walk down a path from the Museum building is the studio where Rockwell created these masterpieces. Not a replica of the studio, but the actual studio with a lot of his belongings in tact. The chair he sat in, the pallet he used, the couch he napped on and the desk he sat at. The studio looks like it did in the 1960's and has the same view it did before it was moved from it's previous location, over looking the river with a northern exposure. The studio was moved on a flat bed truck back in the 1970's to it's location on the museum property.
There is just something awesome about seeing the works of art you knew as a child and then going into the building in which they were created.
Stockbridge is small town America. At first glance the town looks like a bland and boring place, but once you walk up and down the tree lined streets you'll see that isn't true. Stockbridge is home to the original Alice's Restaurant, that's right the one from the Arlo Guthrie song. It's now called Theresa's but still boasts it's ties to the famous song and movie from the 1960's.
The Red Lion Inn also makes it's home in Stockbridge. A 108 room inn that has been in continuous operation since the 18th century. The inn also houses a restaurant and a gift shop. Stockbridge's proximity to many attractions in the Berkshires including Tanglewood makes the inn the perfect place to stay. They offer lots of different packages including one for Tanglewood and for the Rockwell Museum.
Stockbridge is about an hour and half from Saratoga which makes it a perfect day trip. You might want to set your GPS so that you take the scenic route to avoid tolls which will take you a little longer but I think it's worth the drive through Vermont and the Massachusetts.