Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration

January 27 - May 28, 2007

 

Wall panel and label texts from the exhibition

Introduction and label text
 
One of the most successful visual communicators of the twentieth century, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a keen observer of human nature. Created over six decades, his carefully conceived narratives for the masses gave voice to the ideals and aspirations of real people and served as a reassuring guide during an era of sweeping social and technological change.
 
Beyond the legendary status that he achieved some forty years before his death, Norman Rockwell was a masterful painter and a complex man. A sophisticated technician with deep knowledge of the history of art and a sometimes tortured relationship to his own work, he never claimed to portray reality. Instead, he painted "life as I would like it to be," purposefully avoiding "the agonizing crisis and tangles" that experience often presents. Highly naturalistic, his clearly articulated vision inspired the belief that he was reporting on actual stories rather than creating them, engaging a public who aspired to the life depicted in his art.
 
Norman Rockwell's prominence and the confidence and sense of well-being that his art inspired prompted many corporations to seek him out for commissions intended to raise the profiles of their products. Approximately one quarter of the artist's extensive body of four thousand known works was created for advertising. By the 1920s, Rockwell's imagery, signature, and persona were sought as an implicit stamp of quality for products and heir makers.
 
Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration features original paintings by Norman Rockwell from the collection of Pfizer Inc, which are among the finest examples of the artist's imagery for advertising. Heartfelt portrayals, they inspired Americans to view themselves and their physicians with optimism, implying that our emotional lives and sense of physical well-being are closely intertwined. Norman Rockwell's paintings exploring the doctor/patient relationship, the importance of physical fitness, and health and healing across the generations are accompanied by original works reflecting similar themes by fourteen of today's most prominent visual commentators. Editorial artworks created for the nation's most prestigious publications examine contemporary perspectives on subjects explored more than fifty years ago in Norman Rockwell's art. Their work speaks to the time-honored power of narrative images, which have had, and continue to have, a singular impact on public perception.
 
 
Family Doctor: Norman Rockwell Paintings from the Pfizer Collection
 
From 1929 to 1961, Norman Rockwell created images for use in the advertising campaigns of two pharmaceutical companies and an optical company. These portrayals inspired us to view ourselves with optimism and to see our family doctors as kind, friendly caregivers. They also presented the notion that health is affected as much by our emotional lives as by our physical well-being. Through his use of everyday scenes, Rockwell conveyed the hopefulness and idealism that characterized his view of life. This group of eleven paintings is on loan from the art collection of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.
 
Reminiscing about the early part of his career, Norman Rockwell once said, "You could do pictures for ads in those days." By "picture," Rockwell meant he could tell a story rather than simply design an image around a product. Rockwell's advertising illustrations for pharmaceuticals for Lambert Pharmacal, and The Upjohn Company and eyeglass lenses for American Optical are examples of this softer, more indirect method of marketing. Not only did his narratives convince consumers to buy, his signature provided tacit endorsement that enhanced a company's image through association.
 
Rockwell's way of viewing people and situations developed during a lifetime of reading the novels of Charles Dickens. As a lad, he often preferred reading Dickens' novels to playing outdoors. Fascinated by the illustrations, his own rendering of characters, like the family doctor, would be inspired by memories of these images and by the attributes he found most desirable: kindness, compassion and patience.
 
In this collection of advertising illustrations for the health industry, Rockwell tells his stories through such immediately recognizable scenes of everyday life that we may overlook the aesthetic qualities of composition, detail, and color and tonal harmonies that lift them to works of art.
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
The Same Advice I Gave Your Dad Listerine Often 1929
 
Part of an extremely successful advertising campaign, Rockwell's painting with Lambert Pharmacal's tag line, "The Same Advice I Gave Your Dad," was published in more than eight publications including American Magazine, Literary Digest, and Ladies' Home Journal from 1929 to 1943. Originally formulated in 1879 as a disinfectant for surgical procedures, Listerine was found to be an excellent oral antiseptic.
 
Rockwell's depiction closely follows the company's message, "Many of you can remember your old family doctor and his little black bag with Listerine Antiseptic tucked in the corner. You felt better the minute he entered the house."
 
Oil on canvas
Print advertisement for Lambert Pharmacal: Listerine
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
If Your Eyesight Controls Your "Great Decisions" 1929
 
The American Optical Company began creating eyewear in 1833. In 1929 a series of advertisements illustrated by Rockwell was published for their new wide-angle Tillyer lenses, said to be "accurate to the very edge." Targeted toward those whose sight may suffer from the effects of aging, the ad advised, "If your eyesight controls your decisions-as it does-help it with the most accurate lenses science has made."
 
Oil on canvas on board
Print advertisement for American Optical: Tillyer Lenses
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Is It Play for Eyes Too? 1929
 
During this early period of Rockwell's career, he often used an attic setting in his paintings. The diagonal line of the garret's pitched roof provides a perfect frame to direct the viewer's eye down to the window, which leads one's focus to the model airplane and ultimately, to the young man's face. The dramatic play of light against dark is another benefit of the small, single light source.
 
Oil on canvas on board
Print advertisement for American Optical: Tillyer Lenses
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Doc Mellhorn and the Pearly Gates 1938
 
In the fall of 1938, the Boston-based Forbes Lithograph Company asked Rockwell to do a painting for a "point-of-purchase" display for their client The Upjohn Company. The Upjohn Company, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was founded in 1885 when William Erastus Upjohn invented the "friable" pill-one that could be easily crushed or dissolved. Replacing liquid medicines, pills were often so hard that they didn't dissolve in a person's digestive system. With this new technology, vitamins in pill form became a large part of Upjohn's market, and the image of a thumb crushing a pill became the company's trademark.
 
To show Upjohn an example of Rockwell's work, Forbes representative Percy Gillingham borrowed and sent to Kalamazoo the charcoal drawing of Rockwell's recently published Saturday Evening Post story illustration, Doc Mellhorn and the Pearly Gates. Upjohn's executives liked the image so much that they asked to purchase the final painting. The painting of a kindly family doctor, typical of Rockwell's characterizations of the period, suited the company's advertising campaign and launched a series of eight new images for Upjohn that would appear in pharmacy window displays and thousands of doctors' offices, hospitals and clinics throughout the country.
 
Oil on canvas
Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post,
December 24, 1938
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
He's Going to Be Taller Than Dad 1939
 
It was Upjohn's policy to give Norman Rockwell ample latitude to express himself, offering only such gentle guidelines as "all ages need vitamins." Rockwell was asked to submit two or three idea sketches at a time. Once into the project, the company might steer him toward a desired goal, but not in a heavy-handed way.
 
For the boy measuring his height in Rockwell's picture, Upjohn asked that he "represent a good average, healthy, attractive American child," and that the setting "suggest a home rather than an interior of an institution." These suggestions were superfluous, given Rockwell's natural inclinations and the "types" that were his stock in trade. When Upjohn received Rockwell's charcoal drawing, they asked him to change the boy's expression to one that looked less frightened and to make him appear to be stretching more, as a child would under those circumstances. Growth lines on the wall needed more definition and a doll on a corner shelf needed to be replaced with a boy's toy. Most interesting of their requests was that Rockwell's name be very prominent. As much as his artwork, Rockwell's signature was selling their brand.
 
Oil on canvas
Print advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
When the Doctor Treats Your Child 1939
 
After they had seen Norman Rockwell's Doc Mellhorn and the Pearly Gates, Upjohn executives wanted their own painting of a lovable old doctor. They asked Rockwell to paint a doctor writing a prescription for an average happy American family. Just as he had posed his wife Mary for the Doc Mellhorn painting, Rockwell enlisted her as the mother with three children. At the time, the Rockwell family included three sons, born between 1931 and 1936, but they were not recruited for the image.
 
Oil on canvas
Print advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
The Muscleman 1941
 
Norman Rockwell always submitted a charcoal study of his idea to Upjohn before proceeding to the painting stage. When Upjohn executives saw Rockwell's sketch for The Muscleman, they asked him to change the spotted dog to the all-white one in He's Going to be Taller Than Dad. Representing Rockwell's point of view, Percy Gillingham assured them that Rockwell felt it would be a mistake to have a white dog, since the pattern was purposeful "to concentrate the interest around the youngster's head."
 
Oil on canvas
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Doctor and Doll 1942
 
For his fourth painting for Upjohn, Rockwell proposed his idea of a doctor in a little girl's nursery. Upjohn thought his sketch seemed very familiar. Forbes Lithograph Company representative Percy Gillingham replied that it was true it had been used many years before as a Saturday Evening Post cover, but that Rockwell would bring it up to date and fill it with "1941 character." He persuasively argued that "kindliness as exemplified in the idea as such is perennially fresh and cannot too often be stressed." As a display ad, the company wanted Rockwell to "keep a big composition," for it had to be seen at a distance by those passing a pharmacy window.
 
Rockwell began this painting during a 1942 winter getaway in Alhambra, California. He chose his neighbor Eli Harvey, a renowned animal sculptor, to pose as the doctor. His charcoal study was sent to Upjohn in Kalamazoo, and changes were requested. Now back in Vermont, Rockwell was faced with some re-posing-the little girl had been rejected as looking too passive and too old, the doll had to be more modern, not "stuffed," and he was asked to "by all means, put some pajamas on the doll."
 
Oil on canvas
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Weighing Baby 1943
 
Rockwell sent his charcoal drawing of Weighing Baby to Forbes Lithograph in February, 1943. Three months later, on May 15, Rockwell's Arlington, Vermont studio was destroyed by fire. Despite this huge setback-all of his artists' materials, reference files, props and costumes were lost-he managed to begin work on the oil by the end of May. Fellow Saturday Evening Post illustrator Mead Schaeffer, who lived nearby, shared his studio with Rockwell while he looked for a new home and built a new studio.
 
Upjohn had many suggestions for Rockwell's Weighing Baby. A pad of paper for recording the baby's weight had to be replaced by a less business-like record book. Rockwell was urged to "open the baby's eyes and keep him smiling and happy" and to "keep the mother young looking." The father seemed too dressed up and too much like a movie actor. Because the parents' faces were foreshortened, altering their expressions or age would have been daunting for a less accomplished portraitist.
 
In November 1943, a request came for the next Upjohn picture. A succession of minor illnesses befell Rockwell-one in the fall, one that winter and another the following spring-delaying any new work. Rockwell broke the news in March that it would be physically impossible for him to continue the series that year.
 
Oil on canvas
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Doctor and Boy Looking at Thermometer 1954
 
Rockwell wasn't approached to do more work for Upjohn until 1953, when he was asked to do "another old doctor painting." The request stated, "The idea, composition, etc. to be altogether of your own choosing. You set the price. Anything you say would be entirely acceptable." This was persuasive enough for Rockwell to reply that he would do it, but later than suggested. He proposed doing a painting similar to his 1947 Saturday Evening Post drawing of a doctor and boy looking at a thermometer, but with the doctor's eyes turned "slightly toward the boy with just a touch of humor about his eyes and mouth. In other words he knows the boy does not have an abnormal temperature and is amused with the boy's curiosity. I think it will give the picture a great deal more human interest. In fact if you want to use a title, wouldn't 'a case of schoolitis' be a good one?"
 
Oil on canvas
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
The Veterinarian 1961
 
In 1956, Upjohn asked Rockwell to do a painting for its new line of veterinary products. Upjohn wanted to be associated with the modern scientific approach to animal health, and requested someone youthful as the subject. Rockwell suggested "a young, intelligent veterinary perhaps looking down a very cute dog's throat. The dog being held by its loving boy master."
 
In December of 1957, Rockwell wrote that he couldn't finish the painting that year due to his assignments for the Saturday Evening Post and Boy Scouts of America. This began a series of letters between Rockwell and John Upjohn in which Upjohn pleaded and Rockwell procrastinated for two years. Whether due to emotional despondency, exhaustion, or overwork, Rockwell did not tell Upjohn of his wife Mary's death in August 1959. In July 1960, after Upjohn had shifted budgeted funds for three years, he received word from Rockwell's secretary that Rockwell was well underway with the painting. On the reverse of Upjohn's next letter, Rockwell jotted "Leviticus verse 18/Bk 19/Talmud Love Thy/Neighbor as/Thyself." He was planning his next Post cover. Golden Rule was published April 1, 1961, the same week The Veterinarian was shipped to Upjohn. Rockwell's sweet painting of a small boy holding his beagle for examination was up against tough competition for his attention during the winter of 1961.
Oil on canvas
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
The Art of Modern Medicine
 
On January 1, 2006, the first of an estimated seventy-seven million baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, turned sixty. Expected to live longer than any previous generation and with more resources at their disposal than ever before, many of these active individuals take the issue of health and well-being seriously. Their buying power, desire for information, and willingness to advocate for their own care has sparked an unprecedented infusion of health-related articles and publications, both in print and on the world-wide web.
 
During the mid-twentieth century, Norman Rockwell's focus on the interaction between physician and patient invited consideration of the humanitarian aspects rather than the technicalities of illness. His poignant narratives for the health industry, published in conjunction with compelling advertising copy, were intended to influence the purchasing behavior and though patterns of a broad audience. During Rockwell's prime, illustration was a primary visual mechanism of mass media, entertaining and informing the public while fueling American commerce.
 
A dynamic medium, illustration is in a process of continual transformation, responding to cultural and philosophical shifts and reflecting changes in the marketplace. Today, illustrated images are enlisted to provide visual and intellectual stimulation rather than documentation. Narrative storytelling has given way to more conceptual, stylistic approaches in which sentiment is neutralized, realism is modernized, and illustration is wed to the broader principles of design. Changes in publishing content, over time, have inspired artists to find new and distinctive ways to communicate important messages.
 
The outstanding contemporary artists represented in Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration have tackled health-related subjects as particular and diverse as the mind-body connection, the study of genetics, the emergence of automated medicine, caring for aging parents, the viability of herbal remedies, navigating the managed care system, and self-diagnosis in the information age. Their vibrant images, borne of diverse methodologies and aesthetic approaches, make complex material accessible and troublesome topics approachable for millions who are fortunate enough to encounter their art at the simple turn of a page.
 
 

(above: Frances Jetter, "You're Never Too Old," 2003. Illustration for The New York Times, Special Section on Women's Health, June 22, 2003. Linocut on paper. Collection of the artist. ©2003 Frances Jetter)

 

(above: Cathie Bleck, "Guidance," n.d. Illustration for Kaiser Permanente. Scratchboard. Collection of the artist. © Cathie Bleck)

 

(above: "Mother and Child," Cathie Bleck, 1989. Illustration for the Alan Guttmacher Foundation, 1988-1989 Annual Report. Scratchboard. Collection of the artist. ©1989 Cathie Bleck)

 

(above: Juliette Borda, "Herbal vs. Traditional Medicine," 2004. Gouache on paper. Collection of the artist. ©2004 Juliette Borda)

 

 

(above: Elwood Smith, "Healthy Eating," 2000. Illustration for Healthy Living, January 2000. Watercolor and ink on paper. Collection of the artist. ©2000 Elwood Smith)

 

(above: "Betting Your Life," Guy Billout, 2001. Illustration for The New Yorker, January 29, 2001. Ink on paper. Collection of the artist. ©2001 Guy Billout and The New Yorker)

 

(above: Mark Ulriksen, "Dissing Doctors,"1999. Illustration for Smart Money. Acrylic on board. Collection of the artist)


Checklist from the exhibition

 
Melinda Beck
Regulating Your Blood Sugar 2002
 
Illustration for Great Life, March 2002
Digital
Collection of the artist
 
 
Cathie Bleck
Mother and Child 1989
 
Illustration for the Alan Guttmacher Foundation, 1988-1989 Annual Report
Scratchboard
Collection of the artist
 
 
Cathie Bleck
Guidance n.d.
 
Illustration for Kaiser Permanente
Scratchboard
Collection of the artist
 
 
Cathie Bleck
The Star Gene n.d.
 
Illustration for Kaiser Permanente
Scratchboard
Collection of the artist
 
 
Cathie Bleck
The Touch 1990
 
Illustration for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine
Scratchboard
Collection of the artist
 
 
Guy Billout
Automated Medicine 2000
 
Illustration for The New Yorker
Ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Guy Billout
Second Opinions 2000
 
Illustration for The New Yorker
Ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Guy Billout
Betting Your Life 2001
 
Illustration for The New Yorker, January 29, 2001
Ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Guy Billout
The Grief Industry 2004
 
Illustration for The New Yorker, January 26, 2004
Ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Juliette Borda
Herbal vs. Traditional Medicine 2004
 
Gouache on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Juliette Borda
Aging Parents 2005
 
Illustration for Family Circle, October 2005
Gouache on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
Juliette Borda
Pinch 1999
 
Illustration for Fit Pregnancy
Gouache on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Juliette Borda
Good Fat, Bad Fat 2005
 
Illustration for Shape, October 2005
Gouache on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Juliette Borda
Pear-Shaped 2002
 
Illustration for AARP, May 2002
Gouache on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Juliette Borda
Fast Food Exercise 2005
 
Illustration for Mother Jones, November/December 2005
Gouache on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Cora Lynn Deibler
Super Star Docs: Caring, Compassion, Credentials 2001
 
Illustration for Inside MS, Summer 2001
Watercolor and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Cora Lynn Deibler
Super Star Docs: Monkey Wrench Award 2001
 
Illustration for Inside MS, Summer 2001
Watercolor and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Teresa Fasolino
Vegetables in Landscape 1989
 
Cover illustration for The Complete Vegetable Gardener's Sourcebook
by Duane Newcomb and Karen Newcomb, Prentice Hall, 1989
Oil on canvas
Collection of the artist
 
 
Teresa Fasolino
Healthful Still Life in Landscape n.d.
 
Brochure illustration for Artworks
Oil on canvas
Collection of the artist
 
 
Frances Jetter
Breaking Free From Pain 1997
 
Illustration for the Duke University Alumni Magazine, July/August 1997
Linocut and assorted metals on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
Frances Jetter
You're Never Too Old 2003
 
Illustration for The New York Times, Special Section on Women's Health,
June 22, 2003
Linocut on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Gregory Manchess
Untitled 2006
 
Mural painting for the American College of Cardiologists,
Washington, D.C.
Oil on linen
Collection of the artist
 
 
Norman Rockwell
Doc Mellhorn and the Pearly Gates 1938
 
Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post,
December 24, 1938
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
Doctor and Boy Looking at Thermometer 1954
 
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
Doctor and Doll 1942
 
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
He's Going to Be Taller Than Dad 1939
 
Print advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
If Your Eyesight Controls Your "Great Decisions" 1929
 
Print advertisement for American Optical: Tillyer lenses
Oil on canvas on board
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
Is It Play for Eyes Too? 1929
 
Print advertisement for American Optical: Tillyer lenses
Oil on canvas on board
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
The Muscleman 1941
 
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
The Same Advice I Gave Your Dad Listerine Often 1929
 
Print advertisement for Lambert Pharmacal: Listerine
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
The Veterinarian 1961
 
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
When the Doctor Treats Your Child 1939
 
Print advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Norman Rockwell
Weighing Baby 1943
 
Display advertisement for The Upjohn Company
Oil on canvas
Collection of Pfizer Inc
 
 
Peter de Sève
Easter 2005
 
Illustration for The New Yorker, March 28, 2005
Watercolor and pencil on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Whitney Sherman
Protection 1996
 
Web illustration for the Medical Broadcasting Company
Pastel and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Whitney Sherman
Heart Care 1998
 
Illustration for Smart Health
Pastel and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Whitney Sherman
Problem Patients: A Thorny Issue 1992
 
Illustration for Buffalo Physician Magazine
Pastel and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Whitney Sherman
Catching Colon Cancer 1998
 
Illustration for The Boston Globe Magazine
Mixed media on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Elwood Smith
Healthy Eating 2000
 
Illustration for Healthy Living, January 2000
Watercolor and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Elwood Smith
Automated Alliances 1994
 
Illustration for Washington Post Magazine, August 7, 1994
Watercolor and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Elwood Smith
Navigating Open Enrollment 2005
 
Illustration for Newsweek, November 2, 2005
Watercolor and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Elwood Smith
Huh? 1993
 
Illustration for Remedy
Watercolor and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Elwood Smith
For Your Health 2006
 
Illustration for MOAA (Military Officers Association of America)
January 2006
Watercolor and ink on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Mark Ulriksen
Battle in Maternity 1994
 
Illustration for Hippocrates
Acrylic on paper
Collection of the artist
 
 
Mark Ulriksen
Pursuit of Pleasure 2004
 
Illustration for The New Yorker
Acrylic on canvas
Collection of the artist
 
 
Mark Ulriksen
Dissing Doctors 1999
 
Illustration for Smart Money
Acrylic on board
Collection of the artist
 
 
Mark Ulriksen
When We're Sixty-Four 2005
 
Illustration for The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2005
Acrylic on paper
Collection of the artist

Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy:

 

These additional articles and essays on illustration:

From The Art Bulletin:

These online videos:

an Arts4All Ltd. video. Go to ArtsPass > Video on Demand > Arts Pass Library and select "Rockwell, Norman (1894-1978) (Visual Arts) (14:32) Norman Rockwell was one of America's most beloved illustrators. Producing work for such magazines as Life, Look, Literary Digest, A Boys' Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, as well as his 321 covers, over 47 years, for The Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell's legacy is found in paintings capturing both the ordinary and extraordinary moments of everyday life in 20th century America. Written by Paul Foster."

AOL Television offers Biography: Norman Rockwell ,45m:00s via truveo.com which says of the video: "It is a source of fury to the formal art world that Norman Rockwell was and remains the most visible and beloved of the American painters of this century. His name has come to symbolize the best of an era when American had a single clean, shining patriotic vision. A time when God, country and goodness meant not just something, but everything. While the 320 Rockwell covers for the "Saturday Evening Post" are part of the past, his happy fame lives on in the collections of people as diverse as Richard Nixon, Johnny Carson, Steven Spielberg, Andy Warhol and Ringo Starr. This biography uncovers the complicated man who produced the glorious and uncomplicated paintings that thrilled America for sixty years--from his deathless "Four Freedoms" and "Willie Gillis G.I." series to h is panoply of civil rights, baseball, young love and Christmas classics. This biogrpahy illustrates not only the artist and his paintings, but the nation as Rockwell helped shape it. Filled with the insights of experts and the people who knew Rockwell. A perfect delight.". Distributed by Lou Reda Productions.

 

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