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Fitchburg Art Museum Welcomes Exhibit Celebrating the Graphic Novel Phenomenon

Triumphant mixed-media exhibit on loan from Normal Rockwell Museum making its only New England appearance at Fitchburg Art Museum from Sept. 25-Jan. 1

FITCHBURG, Mass., Sep. 6, 2011 – The Fitchburg Art Museum, North Central Massachusetts’ oldest and most treasured cultural institution, will host the exhibit LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel from Sept. 25 through Jan. 1, 2012. The exhibition is organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum and is making its only traveling New England appearance here. LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel will examine the use of this dynamic form of visual communication, and place specific emphasis on the art of the contemporary graphic novel, which is an internationally recognized artistic and literary genre.

This special exhibition will feature over 200 original art works, including paintings, drawings, storyboards, studies, books, photographs, and a documentary film, offering insights into the lives of the artists and the nature of their work. The impact on art discourse and the surrounding public community will be deepened and heightened by the powerful literary element of the exhibition. Click here to view sample works.

Focused on subjects as diverse as the nature of relationships, the perils of war, and the meaning of life, graphic novels comprise the fastest-growing sections of many bookstores, according to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Graphic novels employ the technique of cinematographic narrative, developed by comic-book artists, telling the story through metaphors and visual images, particularly images of action.

“An increasing number of artists are choosing to express themselves through graphic novels, which have received increased recognition in the popular sector and have started to gain the interest and consideration of the art and literary establishment,” said Peter Timms, director of the Fitchburg Art Museum. “Noted periodicals including The New York Times and The New Yorker have covered the phenomenon, and graphic novels are increasingly popular in classrooms, libraries, and bookstores throughout the United States and abroad.”

Beyond the quality of the exhibit and prestige of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Timms said that the Fitchburg Art Museum is using the LitGraphic show as a springboard to launch an aggressive marketing program to promote the museum itself. “Founded in 1925, we are a world-class, family-friendly museum with a permanent collection spanning 5,000 years,” Timms said, “yet we remain very much a hidden treasure. Working closely with the City of Fitchburg, area businesses and other regional and community stakeholders, we have bold plans to engage the public in ways that are as distinctive as the museum itself.

Other Upcoming Exhibits

In addition to this special exhibition, the Fitchburg Art Museum will feature two new exhibits, including the stunning aerial photography of William Garnett (1916-2006). Garnett’s photographic images of forests, sand dunes, agricultural crops and suburban grids were taken from his two-seat Cessna airplane. His photos, mostly silver prints dating from 1951 to 1976, vary from pure abstraction to patterned compositions, all of which reflect Garnett’s discovery of the abstracted, dramatic, and poetic American landscape seen from the sky. Also, African curator Jean Borgatti has produced “African Conversations,” which places African objects in our permanent galleries with works from other areas and time periods including Asia, Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, and 19th and 20th century America and Europe.

About the Fitchburg Art Museum

The Fitchburg Art Museum, North Central Massachusetts’ oldest and most treasured cultural institution, is a world-class family-friendly museum with a permanent collection spanning 5,000 years. Visitors can experience a wealth of masterpieces in 12 galleries that feature American, European, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Asian, and Pre-Colombian art. Award-winning educational programs inspire all to learn about the importance of world cultures, art history, and contemporary life. The museum was founded in 1925 through a bequest of artist, collector, educator and Fitchburg native Eleanor Norcross (1854-1923). For more information, visit www.fitchburgartmuseum.org, or call 978/345-4207.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: There will be a special media-only viewing of the LitGraphic exhibition on Friday, Sept. 23 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; light food and refreshments will be served. A representative from the Norman Rockwell Museum will be available to answer questions on the collection, and prominent figures from the Fitchburg area’s civic, business, education, literary and artistic communities will be available to discuss their support of the Fitchburg Art Museum.

Please RSVP to Jerry Beck, director of marketing and community engagement for the Fitchburg Art Museum. He can be reached at 978/345-4207 x312, or via email at jbeck@fitchburgartmuseum.org

Sample Works

Digital samples available upon request. Contact Jerry Beck, Director of Marketing - jbeck@fitchburgartmuseum.org

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