Season's Greetings from the Peter Norton Family

For thirty years the holiday season was marked in the art community by the release of the latest Peter Norton Christmas Project. Each year, collector, philanthropist and computer entrepreneur Peter Norton and his family commissioned original limited edition artworks by both emerging and established artists. These were given as holiday greetings to a curated list of friends, colleagues, and institutions. The list of recipients, like the works themselves, was always a surprise and to be on the list was exciting and a coveted honor. At the start of the project, the commissions were modest, often prints created in small editions, but over the years, the works became more complex and the edition sizes bigger. In 1997, Kara Walker contributed a pop-up book of a slave seeking emancipation; Takashi Murakami designed a vinyl figurine with a flower-covered mini CD inside in 2000; and Yinka Shonibare created an entire dollhouse of his home complete with furnishings draped in his colorful textiles in 2008. Throughout the projects, artists addressed challenging socio-political themes while simultaneously incorporating a sense of whimsy and playfulness, key characteristics of the commissions. The Peter Norton Christmas Project began in 1988, delighting recipients and fostering engagement with contemporary art. At its conclusion in 2017/2018, Norton released an archive, This is the End, detailing each of the works released over the project’s tenure.