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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration

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Norman Rockwell Museum / Stockbridge / Art

According to the scholar Joseph Campbell, mankind resorts to fantasy to better understand the world, and to differentiate between good and evil. Albert Einstein once asserted that, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Though fantasy is the stuff of fiction and myth, it is illustration that truly brings the genre to life. Angels, monsters, witches, and fairies exist within a culture because of the way they have been visually portrayed. Beginning with fantasy archetypes from the Middle Ages, this exhibition moves through the adventures of Thor and Apollo, Andromeda and Hercules, and ends with illustrations from modern tales such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Cinderella, and The Lord of the Rings. The images are realistic and surreal, the stuff of our childhoods and our dreams, places of both refuge and our worst nightmares. —E.C.

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Norman Rockwell Museum 9 Glendale Rd, Stockbridge, MA 01262
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