ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Masterworks of the Sanford B. D. Low Illustration Collection
One of the most unique and exceptional aspects of the New Britain Museum of American Art’s permanent collection is The Sanford B. D. Low Illustration Collection, named in honor of the Museum’s first director—a passionate advocate of American illustration. Conceived in 1965, a year following Sanford Low’s untimely passing, the collection was founded by well-known artists and illustrators, who, with the support of NBMAA trustees and fellow illustrators, established the Sanford B. D. Low Memorial Illustration Committee. Carrying on Low’s desire to preserve and promote illustration, the Committee invited established artists to donate their work to the Museum and succeeded in amassing an exemplary collection of works by some of America’s most preeminent illustrators. The collection has grown to nearly 2,000 works, making it one of the nation’s largest museum collections to focus exclusively on the art of illustration.
Masterworks of the Sanford B. D. Low Illustration Collection showcases some of the collection’s finest examples and features iconic and groundbreaking artists such as Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966), Norman Rockwell (1894–1978), Stevan Dohanos (1907–1994), and many others. These artists captured distinctly American values through story and advertisement illustrations, as well as through cover illustrations for publications such as Scribner’s Magazine and The Saturday Evening Post. Among the themes addressed in these captivating works are American pastimes, family and friends, love and romance, war time, as well as fantasy and science fiction. Illustrators throughout American history have told stories in compelling and innovative ways, as evidenced by the diverse works presented here.