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Tragic proceedings - BSA looking to sell precious Norman Rockwell collection


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I actually have a number of friends who are color blind! And so was my hero, Mr. Rogers. In face, his color blindness was so severe that he never actually knew what color sweater he was wearing in each episode, and he couldn't tell the difference between pea soup and tomato soup except by tasting them. But he certainly seemed to get a lot of fulfilment out of his life nonetheless, and he passed that on to the children he inspired as well - I being one of them. ☺️

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My college roommate (and best friend) is color blind. We started a software company back in the late 90s to provide computer games for the blind primarily due to his color blindness and issues with video games.

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16 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

And thus it is in life; about those things of which we know nothing, we seem to care but little; we never feel the lack of that with which we have never been filled, and thus we never know the magnitude to which our souls might have been expanded, nor the heights to which our joys might have reached.

I have been privileged to see two magnificent Rockwell exhibits in my life. Both deeply and thoroughly changed me.

One was back in 2013 at the Church History museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City while I was living up in Utah. The display was in celebration of the Church's hundred-year collaboration with the Boy Scouts of America, and featured nearly all of the paintings owned by the BSA loaned to the Church for the occasion. It was profoundly moving; I wasn't a Scouting leader then, but I was after all an Eagle Scout, and his paintings inspired me in such a way that I felt I had been spiritually prepared to take on the role of Scout leader when the call came not-quite two years later. There is a powerful, humane dignity to his art that reflects the nobility and heritage of what we are and what we do in Scouting; his paintings capture the best in us, and when I became a leader, I wanted to be the kind of person depicted in his paintings - full of mirth and excitement and fun, but also dignity and reverence and humanity.

A few years later at Brigham Young University (my alma mater), there was a tremendous exhibit of his works borrowed from the Stockbridge museum that included, among other works, the entirety of Rockwell's paintings for the Saturday Evening Post (323 covers!), his series of civil rights movement paintings, and various Scouting works. Again, a breathtaking exhibit that had me alternating between fits of delighted laughter and moments of profound reflection and tear-filled grief. It was, like the exhibit I saw before it, a life-altering experience. I think Rockwell's paintings stand as one of the greatest testaments of what Scouting has meant to this nation for over a hundred years, and they are, I would say, one of the organization's greatest treasures, worth as much as any property, campground, or financial asset, and with a value infinitely beyond that of their mere monetary worth.

I know my Scouting service has been hugely influenced by Rockwell's works. They have inspired me to be a better leader, a nobler person, a kinder servant, and a more faithful believer. I think that, for those with open hearts, they can be some of the greatest motivators Scouting can possibly offer. 

I love Norman Rockwell although for me the painter who rocked my world was Rembrandt. Rockwell traced most of his paintings from photographs; Rembrandt's were paintings from life that were so real, some of them look like photographs despite the fact they were painted in the 1600s. Amazing. 

 

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There is a profound difference in being able to view the ORIGINAL versus a book picture or even a projected image. 

Each brush stroke was dealt by a human hand. It was put there by the desire to capture ... what?  Something even a photograph can't capture.  

My dad attended an art school early on, thinking he might be a professional artist. Then the great depression interferred.  His friendship with the schools director Henry Hensche, continued and when I went off to summer camp , he and mom visited with Mr. Hensche,  I am the beneficiary of that visit,  years later, Hensche's portraits of my mom and dad, much younger, hang on my wall.  They are captured much better than any photo even of that time. 

Mr. Rockwell's work is much like that.  Wherever they hang, go and visit and view them. Soak up the "spirit" from which they sprang.  We can only hope, no matter their fiscal worth, that the new owner values their exhibition as much.

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