Henry Taylor, the democratic king of portraiture, makes his L.A. homecoming at MOCA with a visit to a pair of exhibits, including a pair of paintings by his great mentor, Norman Rockwell, who died last year at the age of 90.
“He did that stuff for 40 years, and he was still painting beautiful stuff,” says Taylor, who has done more than 200 portraits in the city.
Taylor says Rockwell will also be remembered for his love of food.
“He is really in touch with food, and he really loved food,” Taylor says. “He would always have a table with trays and dishes of shrimp, crab, lobster and other fresh seafood. And he also enjoyed the fish market, where he would sit and look at all of the fish he had caught that day.”
In addition to Taylor, the Rockwell Museum and Library will feature a number of other Rockwell exhibits. The show, which runs through May 3, includes a variety of paintings by his contemporaries, including Frank Stella, Norman Rockwell and John La Farge.
Taylor says the Rockwell Museum is thrilled to have a permanent home. The museum was first formed as a nonprofit in 1987.
“We started with a couple of buildings and people got involved and said this space is great,” he says.
The Rockwell Museum opened last year in a long-vacant building at 833 S. Figueroa St. The new building was designed by Michael Graves Architecture, a firm that specializes in museums and museums-of-the-kind.
The museum features two galleries and a library, and hosts approximately 20,000 visitors each year.
Since Taylor’s appointment in February, he says it’s been a whirlwind of sorts.
“We do have two exhibitions coming up at the same time. And then in April we will have Norman Rockwell’s last exhibit in Los Angeles,” he says. “So we have a little bit of everything.”
Taylor says he also looks forward to serving as president of the nonprofit museum.
“I will be working with the board for the next year, and we hope to have a great year