Ralph Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson paired in exhibition

The Red Lion Inn and the Norman Rockwell Museum co-present the exhibit, Ride the Thunder, showcasing the iconic artworks of British Illustrator Ralph Steadman and the groundbreaking literary works of Hunter S. Thompson. The presentation includes never-before-seen pieces and is curated by M. A. Cash. Ride the Thunder, further supported by Theory Wellness, will be open to the public from August 20 through October 31, 2023, at The Red Lion Inn and promises to be an unforgettable journey into the heart of American art and literature.

As visitors step into The Red Lion Inn’s second-floor hallway, they will be transported into the chaotic and captivating world that Thompson and Steadman inhabited. The exhibit will showcase 50 original pieces from “The Kentucky Derby,” the seminal article that resulted from Steadman and Thompson’s Louisville experience at the Kentucky Derby, alongside “Fear and Loathing,” a psychedelic journey to the heart of the American dream. The work is generally considered the epitome of Gonzo Journalism, a term coined by Boston Globe writer, William Joseph Cardosa.

Ride the Thunder not only personifies the extraordinary life and times of Ralph Steadman and Hunter Thompson, but also offers a rare glimpse into their world of creativity and their powerful collaborative efforts. Their affinity for fearless social commentary and political satire gave birth to legendary articles for Rolling Stone and other publications that sparked a countercultural revolution. Included in Ride the Thunder, their fax exchanges over fifteen years offer a deeply intimate view of their enduring friendship and the inspiration that fueled their artistic endeavors.

M. A. Cash, the visionary curator and devoted champion of Hunter S. Thompson’s work, as well as the curator who masterfully showcases Ralph Steadman’s iconic artwork, is the driving force behind this transformative project. With an unparalleled passion for both artists, M. A. Cash aims to ensure the gonzo spirit of Thompson and the artistic brilliance of Steadman remain at the forefront of everything creative into perpetuity.

“After spending ample time in the Berkshires, it’s evident that The Red Lion Inn is a masterpiece in itself; an iron skillet with 250 years of stories, simmering with layers of flavors,” Cash said.

Joining the ranks of esteemed co-producers are Richard Post, father of musician Post Malone and dedicated patron of The Red Lion Inn, and Bobby Kennedy III, the multi-talented American lawyer, activist, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. Ralph Steadman, the collaborator, affiliate, acolyte, and music producer, is an essential part of this remarkable endeavor.

“We are overjoyed to welcome this captivating exhibit to our hotel for a ten-week residency,” Sarah Eustis, CEO and Founder of Main Street Hospitality., said “Filled with rich history and unrivaled character paired with our steadfast commitment to the arts, the Red Lion Inn is the perfect backdrop to showcase the inspiring Ride the Thunder collection.”

Main Street Hospitality is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Red Lion Inn this summer, which has hosted generations of travelers over the years and was even immortalized in a famous 1967 Norman Rockwell painting, Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, on view at the nearby Norman Rockwell Museum.

“Norman Rockwell Museum has shared more than 50 years of friendship and partnership with Red Lion Inn. As the home of American Illustration Art, the Museum is delighted to collaborate with the Red Lion Inn on this special exhibition in the town where Rockwell lived and worked for the last 25 years of his life,” Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO, Norman Rockwell Museum, said. “Celebrating this important art form, with works by contemporary artists brings continued attention and appreciation for the field, in a location so blessed with creativity.”

About Red Lion Inn  

The Red Lion Inn is an iconic landmark whose warmth and character express timeless tradition while its vibrant personality brings to Berkshires luxury hotels. We are located in Stockbridge, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires. It’s home to the iconic Red Lion Inn as well as Maple Glen, a 17-room guesthouse that features an unexpected twist on modern country.

Many charming village houses are also located on the property along with several unique lodging options such as our turn-of-the-century Firehouse. 

About Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum illuminates the power of American illustration art to reflect and shape society, and advances the enduring values of kindness, respect, and social equity portrayed by 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, including the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, and comprehensive.

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