Norman Percevel Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over nearly five decades. He was Born February 3, 1894 in New York, NY and died November 8, 1978, Stockbridge, MA.
Much of Rockwell’s prodigious output was painted for magazine reproduction and never intended to provide enduring examples of his work. Although Norman Rockwell, himself, eventually became as recognizable as one of his illustrations, such recognition was too little and very late. His first photograph accompanied illustrations in a 1914 Boys’ Life magazine, but few biographical sketches appeared prior to 1945. The Saturday Evening Post first printed information about Rockwell in 1926, ten years and 82 covers after their association began.
Perhaps the most provocative opinion on Rockwell’s work was expressed in a November 13,1970 issue of Life magazine. When the editors brought the dilemma of Rockwell’s art popularity and lack of recognition, to their reading public in a one page article, posing the question: “If We All Like It Is It Art?” Their readers promptly responded.
The resulting action from ordinary people around the world created the first -man art revolution in America, far surpassing Currier and Ives. A few months later, the first Norman Rockwell plate, The Family Tree, was fired; the Rockwell Revolution had started, and the first of millions of collectibles were offered to Rockwell loving minions. It was then that author, Thomas Buechner and publisher, Harry Abrams moved Rockwell out of the closet, and onto the world’s coffee tables. The rest is art history.
By 1978, at the height of his popularity, and the year of his death, forty books and 140 articles chronicling Rockwell’s accomplishments had appeared in over 56 publications.