Though the name John Norment may not be known to most people, his cartoons and illustrations, which appeared widely in the New Yorker, the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal and other magazines, may be familiar. The work of this artist will be exhibited at the booth of Paul and Marjorie Martinez at the 45th Annual Darien Antiques Show on March 2 through 4.
The artist's niece, Mandy Teare, formerly a foreign language teacher at Middlesex School in Darien, found about 150 mid-century modern paintings and 900 cartoons by her uncle in his home after his death. She showed some of these pieces to Paul and Marjorie Martinez, who have been long-time exhibitors at the Darien Antiques Show, and they were interested in them.
A man of many talents, Norment exhibited his paintings in the 1930s in Chicago, while creating textiles for Montgomery Ward and cartoons for Esquire and the Chicago Tribune. He served during WWII as a correspondent and photographer. After the war, he sold drawings, short humor, and cartoons to Look, Punch, the Philadelphia Inquirer, True, Argosy and the Ladies' Home Journal. In the mid-50s to mid-60s, he served as editor at Dell Publishing Company's humor magazines, such as "You've Gotta Be Joking," "1000 Laughs" and "Monkeyshines," and edited the "Cartoonist" for the National Cartoonist Society, earning him the Silver T-Square award.
"I was very close to my aunt and uncle, who later lived in Westport near the beach," Teare said. "We took long walks together and discussed jazz, which was a passion for him, and he sung in a local jazz band. Never did I imagine the amount of wonderful work he created during these years. What I appreciate most about him is his wonderful outlook on life, seeing whimsy in human behavior."
Teare noted that the New Puppy Gallery in Los Angeles will host the first gallery exhibition since 1980 of John Norment's abstract watercolors. More than 40 of these works will be on display, complemented by a selection of Norment's original cartoon artwork.
Celebrating its 45th year, the Annual Darien Antiques Show continues to delight both first-time buyers and seasoned collectors with an eclectic mix of furniture, fine art and prints, estate jewelry, silver, china, crystal and decorative accessories. Show managers Janet Soskin and Patricia Hedlund carefully vet all the dealers they invite to the show, and guests enjoy seeing these treasures artfully displayed throughout the historic First Congregational Church of Darien.
"The warm, friendly atmosphere at this show is what continues to set it apart," Soskin said. "You can learn so much from these knowledgeable dealers, and they welcome your questions." The all-volunteer staff of church members taking tickets, serving lunch, and parking cars also contributes to the warm welcome guests can expect.
The show opens to the public on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission at the door is $10; $8 for seniors and discount card/ad holders. A cafe, open Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., provides lunch, tea, and desserts. Show proceeds benefit about 20 charitable organizations in the Fairfield County area.
A preview party kicks off the event on Friday night, from 7 to 9 p.m. Partygoers will have the opportunity to make early purchases before the show opens to the public, bid for silent auction items and enjoy live jazz, fine wines, and hors d'oeuvres. This year, the party proceeds primarily will benefit A Better Chance in Darien, a nonprofit organization that provides four-year academic and boarding scholarships to six promising female minority students from inner city areas. Tickets are $50 at the door and include weekend admission to the show.
William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty is a platinum sponsor of this year's show, People's United Bank is a gold sponsor and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens is a media sponsor. The First Congregational Church of Darien is located in Darien at the corner of Brookside Road and the Post Road. For more details and to view photos of prior shows visit: www.darienantiqueshow.org.
For more information call the church at 203-655-0491.