Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Norman Rockwell

Home to Norman Rockwell, Stockbridge, MA
“I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I want to.”
Norman Rockwell

Norman Perceval Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture.
Titled: Freedom from Want
Rockwell's success stemmed to a large degree from his careful appreciation for everyday American scenes and the warmth of small-town life in particular. Often what he depicted was treated with a certain simple charm and sense of humor. Some critics dismissed him for not having real artistic merit, but Rockwell's reasons for painting what he did were grounded in the world that was around him. "Maybe as I grew up and found the world wasn't the perfect place I had thought it to be, I unconsciously decided that if it wasn't an ideal world, it should be, and so painted only the ideal aspects of it," he once said.

Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. Finding success early as artist/art editor for the Boy Scouts’ Boy’s Life magazine, Rockwell was also set on becoming a cover artist for The Saturday Evening Post, which was then considered the premier showcase for an illustrator’s work. Without an appointment, the artist boarded a train to the Post’s headquarters in Philadelphia in 1916, with a portfolio containing two paintings and a sketch idea for potential covers—the editors liked what they saw, purchasing the two paintings for $75, and telling Rockwell to go ahead with his sketch idea. The artist was thrilled.
"Boy with Baby Carriage" was one of the paintings that landed Rockwell the job, and became his first Post cover on May 20, 1916. Painted in artist Frederic Remington’s former New Rochelle, NY studio (which Rockwell and friend/cartoonist Clyde Forysthe rented early in their careers), the humorous illustration was typical of Rockwell’s childhood-themed images of the time. Billy Paine, one of Rockwell’s favorite early models, posed for all three boys pictured in the painting, earning approximately 25 cents an hour.

Title: Self Portrait
Although Rockwell’s career with The Saturday Evening Post lasted nearly 50 years, resulting in 321 original covers that made him a household name, the artist never forgot his first big break from the Boy Scouts; he created yearly calendars for the Scouts throughout his entire career. When Rockwell ended his relationship with the Post and began doing covers for Look, his focus also changed, as he turned more of his attention to the social issues facing the country. Much of the work centered on themes concerning poverty, race and the Vietnam War.

This is one of my all time favorites pictures by Norman Rockwell. Last year I was fortunate to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. I took this picture of Rockwell's Ruby Bridges which captures this visually moving historical event perfectly.  

Celebrating Norman Rockwell becomes a two day event. Check back on Thursday for some party foods that can be served for game day.
Crab Dip


  1. Norman Rockwell has always been one of my favorite artists. Are you surprised?

    1. no Iam not surprised as you also appreciate and love small town life as Rockwell did.