Norman Rockwell illustrated more than 300 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, and was responsible for publishing five decades of everyday American life for this popular magazine. Norman Rockwell’s featured exhibit greets visitors at the entrance of the Midwest Museum of American Art in Elkhart, Indiana. During World War II, Norman Rockwell made a series of oil paintings called the Four Freedoms collections, and some are displayed at this Indiana museum. Along with several of his numbered lithographs. Rockwell isn’t the only famous artist featured at the Midwest Museum of American Art, which features a large 3,200 piece collection.
The Midwest Museum of American Art is housed in a neo-classical style bank building in the center of downtown Elkhart. Originally, it was planned to completely renovate the bank and remove the vault. Renovations went forward, but the vault is still a unique part of this Indiana arts facility. It’s used as a display room for permanent and traveling exhibits. The building has seven galleries that make up the 25,000 square foot facility.
Nineteenth and Twentieth century American art makes up the collection at this Hoosier museum. Famous artist John Singer Sargent has a drawing displayed and Edward Moran has a pastel in the collection. A painting by New England artist Grandma Moses hangs in the Midwest Museum of American Art and stands out as a gem in the collection. Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post predecessor J.C. Leyendecker also has a painting in the entryway, welcoming approximately 25,000 guests each year.
Educational seminars are offered every summer for elementary school students, including Indianapolis kids. Workshops are available in ceramics, drawing, collage, watercolor, printmaking and sculpture. Other art education lectures and classes are offered all year round for youth and adults.
A day trip from Indianapolis to the Midwest Museum of American Art can take an entire afternoon, so be sure to set aside a whole day or even a weekend to explore this Indiana attraction. Elkhart, Indiana is 250 miles north of the Circle City, and dozens of other must see sites are located along the route. The Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area and the Warsaw Biblical Gardens are two outdoor attractions just one county south of Elkhart. From Indianapolis, the Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion. The Doctor James Ford Historic Home in Wabash and the Fulton County Historical SocietyMuseum in Rochester are all destinations located within a few miles of the highway to northern Indiana. The Studebaker National Museum, Bonneyville Mill County Park and the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center are within 16 miles of the Midwest Museum of American Art.
Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s closed on Mondays, and a small fee is charged for admission. Free Family Day is every Sunday, and all fees are waved. Every Thursday there are free educational noontime talks Docent tours of the facility’s exhibits are offered throughout the day. This destination the perfect day trip for art lovers of all ages.