This past Sunday morning, we decided to head west. Daniela had never been to the Normal Rockwell Museum. I had been there only once before, about ten years ago. It was the perfect opportunity.
We entered the Berkshires mountain area on a perfect day.
We stopped in Stockbridge, the town where Norman Rockwell lived as an adult. It's an absolutely picturesque, charming, wonderful place. Once there, we had to have lunch at the Red Lion Inn. (humph, no picture.)
The Red Lion Inn has been around since the late 1700's. The Inn is full of beautiful antiques. There are no ropes saying, "Hands Off". If I must say, one thing I LOVE about New England people is they are down to earth, honest people. No pretentiousness here. We came into the Inn with jeans, messy hair and a highly wrinkled linen shirt (last two were me) and we were graciously welcomed without one glance at our attire.
During lunch there was beautiful live piano music in the background. I just had to get a photo of this man playing for our enjoyment.
In the main dining room (I'm bummed I didn't get any photos), you're served by the waitstaff with these charming outfits. Traditional and classic: very New England.
In this Inn, there is also the Country Curtains store. A few tables over, was the founder and owner of the company, Jane Fitzpatrick. After lunch, we passed by her table on the way to the store section and met her. She was gracious, as were the two ladies at her table. My friend complimented her products and thanked her for such a wonderful company. I hope we made her day.
This is the pub area. A gentleman offered to take a picture of us together. My only request: "Make sure you get the lion. Make sure you get the whole lion!" Next time I'm in the area, I'm definitely having a glass of wine in here. I hope it's not another ten years.
Then it was a few minutes of a tranquil country drive and we were at the museum. It's amazing to me that a person can get inches away from these famous paintings. (Side note: I don't know why I'm leaning to touch the pumpkins except maybe for the fact that it gives me something to do other than stand stiffly by the sign.)
This is the basement area of the museum. (I snapped this with my cell phone.) It's magazine cover images he painted throughout the years. There's something about Norman Rockwell paintings that make me get teary eyed at times. Maybe it's the expression of human emotion that he captured on the canvas.
After viewing Rockwell's paintings, we headed over to his studio. His studio was originally located in the town of Stockbridge but the building was relocated to this museum property.
There were paths through the woods too.
Then we entered the actual studio. This is where he posed the men, women and children he painted. That's his actual chair, palette and easel. The pipe was lost long ago. This is a replacement.
It's spine tingling to realize this is where some of his most famous paintings were created.
This lady was the docent when we first entered the museum. I was so thrilled to see her again and tell her how much we enjoyed her lecture. She welcomed photographs.
It was great being back in this museum. It was a spontaneous decision to go and I'm so glad we did. Daniela's already planning to go back with her husband. They'll ride the Harley as the leaves change. Hmmm... maybe I can tempt He-Man to do the same one year.
Love from Whippoorwill Road,