New Norman Rockwell Christmas art collection goes on display at Hallmark Visitors Center

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ready to get into the Christmas spirit?

It may seem early, but Hallmark is putting on display - for the first time ever - all of Norman Rockwell's iconic Christmas card art.

The exhibit opens Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Hallmark Visitor's Center at 25th and Grand in Kansas City.

It showcases the 32 original pieces of art Rockwell created for Hallmark Christmas cards over a ten-year period - from 1947 until 1956.

A lot of people remember these paintings from their childhood. Besides iconic images of Santa, he also painted Christmas portraits from Charles Dickens novels and humorous scenes of everyday families celebrating the holidays.

"Millions of Americans grew up with these images as being a part of their ideal of what Christmas is about," Hallmark Curator Joe Houston said. "He was such an amazing storyteller. He loved Charles Dickens, he loved the idea of Christmas and this was always a favorite holiday of his."

The Rockwell Christmas Exhibit runs through January, and it's free for all to see.