Art is in the eye of the beholder, whereas swollen retinas are in the eye of the bee holder. Get soul-stung by provocative and powerful art with today's Groupon to the National Museum of American Illustration in Newport. Choose between the following options:
• For $18, you get two tickets (a $36 value).
• For $36, you get four tickets (a $72 value).
This Groupon is valid until September 4, 2011 for general admission on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or guided tours on Friday at 3 p.m. After Labor Day, this Groupon is only valid for the Friday guided tours.
The National Museum of American Illustration curates artwork from Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, J.C. Leyendecker, and more than 150 other luminaries who sketched their way through the 19th and 20th centuries. The vast collection rests within the opulent confines of Vernon Court, a Gilded Age mansion showcasing iconic artwork that once graced American magazines, books, and presidents' biceps. The latest exhibit, Norman Rockwell's America … in Newport, highlights more than 50 original works spanning six decades. Guests can reminisce over sentimental depictions of everyday life, from children in rural America to the group bowling popularized in 1950s suburbs. Another new exhibition reveals the images that appear in author Tom Wolfe's 1980 book, In Our Time. The illustrations critique and satirize social trends and icons of the 1970s with the author's trademark acerbic wit, which doubled as Wolfe's favorite barbecue sauce.
National Museum of American Illustration
Before there were TVs, computers, video games, and smartphones, Americans turned to the most affordable form of entertainment—books. Along with periodicals such as the Saturday Evening Post, books seized America's attention not only with their words, but also with their unique illustrations. These works of art weren't just pretty pictures; rather, they captured significant moments in the ever-changing landscape of American culture.
The National Museum of American Illustration preserves these visual cultural records on its walls. Over the past four decades, its curators have been assembling the museum's American Imagist Collection, which boasts the largest number of original illustrated images by such notable artists as Maxfield Parrish and J.C. Leyendecker, as well as the second-largest number of Norman Rockwell images. It also showcases works from Howard Pyle, the "Father of American Illustration," N.C. Wyeth, Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Chandler Christy, John Falter, and more than 150 others.
The illustrations hang in Vernon Court, a building that could be considered a work of art itself. The turn-of-the-century French chateau–style mansion was built in 1898 by Carrère and Hastings, who designed the New York Public Library and U.S. Senate and House office buildings, among others. With a marble hall, petit salon, and ballroom that were modeled after Marie Antoinette's private suites at the Palace of Versailles, it's not surprising that many consider Vernon Court to be one of the most beautiful mansions in America.