Stockbridge, Massachusetts- about an hour and a half away from where I live- is a quaint resort town out in the Berkshires. It’s Main Street is lined with small shops, cafes, galleries- and the historic Red Lion Inn. Despite it’s distance from the thriving artist community in the Pioneer Valley, Stockbridge has it’s own share of famous artists and active performers, too- including Norman Rockwell- who moved to the area during his later years and established a studio to continue his work.
So charmed by Stockbridge’s beauty, especially during the holidays- Rockwell captured the town in his famous “Home for Christmas” painting- inspiring a backdrop for every Hallmark Christmas movie made in the past few years.
I’m a big fan of Rockwell’s work, and am always looking for a reason to spend some time around The Berkshires- so this past weekend I decided to scratch another “Must Visit” location off my list and stopped by the Norman Rockwell Museum for a mid-morning self-guided tour.
The museum had my three favorite paintings- “Free From Want,” which was part of the “Four Freedoms” series, “Murder in Mississippi,” and “The Problem We All Live With”- an iconic image from the Civil Rights Movement. It also featured an entire room lined with archived copies of Rockwell’s “Saturday Evening Post” covers- including his final cover following the assassination of JFK- and various works from other artists of similar style.
I was in the museum for just over an hour, with some rooms/galleries limited to a certain amount of people at a time to adhere to social distancing protocols- and I had an absolutely lovely visit! It was worth the drive, and I’d love to stop by again sometime- more than likely with my mother- who I know would appreciate the art and Stockbridge’s scenery, too. I definitely picked up an ornament in the museum’s gift shop for her tree for next Christmas!
If you’re looking for a safe, educational and interesting way to escape your home/apartment/quarantine for a brief morning or afternoon- I urge you to look into your local art museums (or explore out of town for a bit like I did!) So many of them are open with safety measures in place- or doing online tours or seminars for would-be visitors. It’s great way to spend a weekend and support local business- especially since live shows and performances aren’t possible right now.
Just remember to wear a mask and give yourself and others some space!