Woman about Town: Stockbridge, Massachusetts

By Maggie Begley

Norman Rockwell Museum Presents Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi

Tony DiTerlizzi

He stands alone as a creator of worlds and a weaver of tales.”
Guillermo del Toro

“I met Tony during the making of The Spiderwick Chronicles and his work has enthralled me ever since. Tony’s imagination holds no bounds. His creatures are whimsical and otherworldly in the best sense and his flair for stories captivate, charm and transport all of us to new and wondrous worlds.”

Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm


I caught The Norman Rockwell Museum’s highly interesting exhibition Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi, an exhibition of works by the #1 New York Times bestselling author. It will be on view at the Museum through May 28, 2018.

Known for his multi-million bestselling book series The Spiderwick Chronicles, DiTerlizzi is celebrated the world over for his images of such fantasy creatures as fairies, trolls, sprites, and goblins.

Never Abandon Imagination showcases over 200 original paintings and drawings, starting from DiTerlizzi’s work in tabletop games, such as Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, to his many imaginative children’s books, in addition to early artwork from his childhood and college years. The exhibition highlights the artist’s influences and artistic process.

Just as his early work on Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering is treasured by devoted fans of the gaming genre, DiTerlizzi’s award-winning books—such as The Spiderwick Chronicles; Kenny and the Dragon; The Spider and the Fly; The Story of Diva and Flea, and The WondLa Trilogy—have inspired a new generation of young readers.

DiTerlizzi has influenced fans and fellow creators alike. “Tony’s work has a distinct flair, a love for monsters, if you will,” notes filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. “His creatures have the charm of [Jim] Henson or [Arthur] Rackham, but they carry with them hints of their own ecosystem. He stands alone as a creator of worlds and a weaver of tales.”


With an artistic style influenced by legendary illustrators Norman Rockwell, Arthur Rackham, and Brian Froud, DiTerlizzi’s exhibition will show how those visionaries shaped his own magical tales. The exhibit was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Kowalski, who adds that the Museum is “proud to present the work of this superb illustrator, who is keeping this cherished artistic tradition alive.”

About Tony DiTerlizzi:

Tony DiTerlizzi has been creating books for nearly two decades. From his fanciful picture books, such as The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and the Dragon and the WondLa trilogy, DiTerlizzi imbues his stories with rich imagination. With Holly Black, he created the middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a successful feature film, and translated for more than 30 countries. Recently, he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy as a picture book and collaborated with Mo Willems for the bestselling chapter book The Story of Diva & Flea.


DiTerlizzi is also the author and illustrator of Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World MoonPie Adventure, as well as the Zena Sutherland Award winning Ted. His brilliantly cinematic version of Mary Howitt's classic The Spider and The Fly earned the artist his second Zena Sutherland Award before receiving his Caldecott Honor in 2003. Mr. DiTerlizzi’s art has graced the book covers of such well-known fantasy writers as J. R. R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, and Jane Yolen.

I love The Norman Rockwell Museum. It is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. The Museum holds the world’s largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to Rockwell’s life and work, while also preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting a growing collection of art by other American illustrators throughout history. The Museum engages diverse audiences through onsite and traveling exhibitions, as well as publications, arts and humanities programs, and comprehensive online resources.

The Museum’s dedication to a deepened understanding of the art of illustration has led to the formation of the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies. The first of its kind in the nation, this research institute supports sustained scholarship and establishes the Museum's leadership in the vanguard of preservation and interpretation relating to this important aspect of American visual culture.

art work

Located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life, the museum is open seven days a week, year-round; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Museum hours from May through October are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays during the month of August; from November through April: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Rockwell’s studio is open May through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museum admission is $18, $17 for seniors, $10 for students, $6 for children and teens 6 to 18, and free for Museum members and children 5 and under.

Norman Rockwell Museum welcomes active U.S. military members with free admission throughout the year. Additionally, we are a Blue Star museum and offer active U.S. military personnel and their immediate family, complimentary admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

For me, it was a great visit. So, if you are out on the town in Stockbridge, please visit it, and please visit the Museum online at www.nrm.org.

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