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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Norman Rockwell Museum Features Exhibit on Rose O'Neill, Artist & Suffragette


The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge MA has a new exhibit titled, Rose O'Neill: Artist & Suffragette, on display through September, 2020.

The exhibit is timely since 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of American women formally given the right to vote, a cause to which O'Neill was devoted.

Born in Wilkes Barre, PA, Rose O'Neill (1874-1944) and her family moved to Nebraska when she was young, and grew up in an artistic household where creative expression was encouraged and prized.  A self-taught illustrator, O'Neill moved to New York City at age 19 and soon her work was being published in leading magazines such as Harper's, Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, as well as Puck Magazine. 

In 1909 O'Neill created the popular characters the Kewpies dolls, elf-like figures that were immediately popular with the general public.  The merchandising of Kewpie dolls made O'Neill a millionaire, according to the exhibition notes.


O'Neill became heavily involved in the women's suffrage movement in 1915, and for the next five years gave speeches, illustrated posters and marched in parades, as the momentum built to give women the right to vote.

After passing through U.S. Congress on June 4, 1919, and receiving the necessary three-fourths approval of the states on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was officially ratified by the U.S. Secretary of State on August 26, 1920. 

The Amendment states:  "The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

This special exhibit is possible thanks to the generous donation of artwork by the Rose O'Neill Foundation, an organization created by her descendants.  The artwork was donated to the Norman Rockwell Museum in 2018 to help preserve O'Neill's legacy as one of the most influential illustrators of the 20th century. 

Founded in 1969, the Norman Rockwell Museum contains the world's largest collection of illustrations, paintings and art by Norman Rockwell, one of America's beloved artists whose iconic work captured the spirit of the United States in the 20th century.  He lived in Stockbridge for the last 25 years of his life.

Read about Massachusetts Irish-American women, and visit IrishMassachusetts.com for more about the Irish-American cultural community.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Irish Singer Grace Foley Performs online for Irish Cultural Centre on July 7


Popular Irish singer Grace Foley is performing a live Facebook concert for the Irish Cultural Centre of New England at 4 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, July 7.

A native of Killarney, County Kerry and classically trained since the age of 14, Grace has studied with some of Ireland’s  leading professionals, including the late Aine Nic Ghabhann, James Nelson of The Celtic Tenors and renowned Irish soprano Virginia Kerr.  She sings a range of Irish songs, contemporary melodies and classical classics.

Learn more about the Irish Cultural Centre of New England, which has recently reopened its outdoor dining facilities.  For reservations,  contact 781-821-8281 or email kryder@irishculture.org 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Boston Pops Celebrates Independence Day with Salute to Our Heroes on July 4

Maestro Keith Lockhart

Due to COVID-19, this year's Boston Pops concert is a spectacular 3-hour broadcast: A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes.  It takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, and can be viewed on Bloomberg TV, at Bloomberg.com, and on Boston's Channel 7, WHDH.

Leading the celebrations is Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart joined by Bloomberg's Kim Carrigan, Janet Wu, and Joe Shortsleeve.

Find more information here.

This year's show features previous musical performances from recent years including Andy Grammer, Leslie Odom Jr., Rhiannon Giddens, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Arlo Guthrie, and more. Rita Moreno and Amanda Gorman contribute moving narration and poetry accompanied by the masterful Boston Pops. 

The show includes newly-created recorded virtual performance pieces by Boston Symphony and Boston Pops players as well as the Middlesex County Volunteer Fifes and Drums. Many friends of the Boston Pops also share special video messages to commemorate our nation's birthday.