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Norman Rockwell Museum
raw nerve!
The Political Art of Steve Brodner

As the 2008 calendar turns toward summer (and then autumn), an historic Presidential election is dominating the attention of many Americans. Along the same lines, the Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting an exhibit that draws on political interests. Literally.

Opening on June 7 and running through Oct. 26 is Raw Nerve! The Political Art of Steve Brodner, an examination of one of the brightest lights in the field of political illustration. Brodner has penned work for one influential publication after another, including Esquire, The New York Times, New York, The Nation, National Lampoon, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post and The Village Voice (to list some highlights). He also is author of Freedom Fries: The Political Art of Steve Brodner.

He is the official political illustrator for The New Yorker for the 2008 Election. Included in that work is The Naked Campaign, “a series of short videos that feature Brodner as he draws Presidential candidates and discusses the race for the White House.” The videos are directed by Gail Levin.

The exhibit clearly has plenty of material to pull from. A veteran of eight national political conventions, Brodner has been casting his eye and providing his insight for a generation of American political activity.

Brodner’s sense of humor comes through most everything he does. On his blog, with a gracious and self-effacing eye toward his host, Brodner refers to his exhibition by the title of “Norman Puts Up with Steve: Brodner at the Rockwell.” Expect to think and to laugh.

Politics Unusual
an evening with alan chartock

As a radio executive, government newspaper publisher, syndicated columnist and talk show host, Alan Chartock has an informed eye trained on the political process. Chartock, who also is a Professor Emitrius at the University of Albany, is regularly heard on Capitol Connection, the series he hosts on public radio. He’ll share his thoughts, with both a local and national perspective during this night of discussion just three months shy of Election Day. The program begins at 5:30 p.m.

Norman Rockwell
illustrator in chief

The artist’s stature as a part of Americana is only enhanced by his associations with U.S. Presidents (and other men who tried to get the job). This exhibit features Rockwell portraits of Presidential contenders from 1952 to 1968, including many that appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon are here, Also on view are correspondences and photographs with chief executives, selected from his personal papers, and Rockwell’s Presidential Medal of Freedom. The display runs through Nov. 16.

open season:
Art Talk
hits the campaign

With the Presidential campaign getting plenty of attention in 2008, the ArtTalk series falls right in line. Coinciding with the Raw Nerve exhibit, the art of political cartooning is highlighted on a series of Thursday nights this summer. On July 17, featured artist Steve Brodner is on hand for. On July 24, filmmaker Gail Levin discusses Animating the Naked Campaign. On July 31, illustrator/historian Roy Schlemme charts the history of the discipline in Political Cartoons: A History of Visual Satire. And on Aug. 21, professor and author Elaine K. Miller discusses gender and visual satire in Drawing Conclusions: Gender and Politics in Editorial Cartoons. All programs begin at 5:30 p.m.