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Jarvis Rockwell Biography

For almost forty years, Jarvis Rockwell (b. 1932, New Rochelle, NY) has built his always-growing collection of toys and figures. The son of Norman and Mary Barstow Rockwell, Jarvis Rockwell began his artistic career drawing portraits of his neighbors and friends and taking classes at New York’s Art Students League and the National Academy of Design.

Following his service in the Korean War, Rockwell attended the Boston Museum School and Los Angeles County Art Institute. Since its beginning in 1979, Rockwell’s collection of toys has grown to include hundreds of thousands of pieces which range from classic action figures to carved wooden animals, mythical monsters, Happy Meal prizes, Troll dolls, Looney Tunes characters, and figurines of politicians, celebrities, and artists. After a decade of collecting, Rockwell began to create scenes that explore the relationships between figures and the narratives that these interactions produce.

Rockwell’s work has been included in exhibitions at MASS MoCA; the New Museum, New York, NY; Scottsdale Public Art, Scottsdale, AZ; Batman Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Images Gallery, Stockbridge, MA; Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA; DownStreet Art, North Adams, MA; and the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA. He lives and works in North Adams.

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