Art Wednesday


Norman Percevel Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978)

20th-century American painter and illustrator

Norman Rockwell was a prolific artist, producing over 4,000 original works in his lifetime. Most of his works are either in public collections, or have been destroyed in fire or other misfortunes (in 1943 his studio was destroyed in a fire and numerous original paintings were lost).

Rockwell was also commissioned to illustrate over 40 books including Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Rockwell's work was dismissed by serious art critics in his lifetime. Many of his works appear overly sweet in modern critics' eyes, especially the Saturday Evening Post covers, which tend toward idealistic or sentimentalized portrayals of American life— this has led to the often-deprecatory adjective "Rockwellesque." Consequently, Rockwell was not considered a "serious painter" by some artists, who often regard his work as bourgeois and kitsch.

However, in his later years, Rockwell began receiving more attention as a painter when he chose more serious subjects such as the series on racism – including the painting “The Problem We all Live With” (1964).

A girl with a shiner (1953)
The marriage license (1955)
The gossip
Rockwell's message - if two people know it is not a secret!
Little spooners, 1926
Appeared on the 24 April 1926, cover of The Saturday Evening Post magazine
Girl at the mirror, 1954
Check up, 1957

 Breaking home ties, 1954
Considered to be one of Rockwell's masterpiece, also one of the most re-produced. 

Rockwell's Breaking Home Ties was bought for $900 in 1960 and sold in 2006 for $15.4 million at a Sotheby auction - so for all those who didn't take Rockwell's work seriously, they should now!



  1. I actually like Rockwell. What he does is incredibly difficult to do well & he does it excellently. I'm not so fussed on the more sentimental pics but ones like Breaking Home Ties are brilliant.

  2. I don't just like Rockwell, I LOVE him. He has always been a favorite. The way he can portray emotion is what I like the best. Plus, his work is such a testimony to bygone days when the culture was simpler and purer: a history lesson or a story in each picture.

    Thank you for highlighting him. It is always a pleasure to visit.

  3. Jo,

    I've always found Rockwell's paintings to be interesting, although I can't say they are my favorites. However, he has a style which I dare say that no one could reproduce. I enjoy the fact that he created pictures where people are portrayed living a simple lifestyle.

    Also, I LOVE your new blog background. It's great! :)

    -Lady Rose

  4. Hi Jo - I have missed you so. I am just now crawling out of my Sacred Yarn room - where I have been so busy for weeks!

    Your new blog look is beautiful! WOW - I so love it!

    Who does not like Norman Rockwell -certainly he is loved by all! I have so many favorites among his pictures - it is nice to see him given tribute here on your blog.


  5. I love Norman Rockwell artistry, I have two books of his works, and there are SO many great ones. I think of all the great ones, one of my favourites is (not pictured on your blog) the one called "Saying Grace" (1951). Have you seen it?

  6. Clara - I wasn't aware of that one, but now that I have looked at it, I am sure I have seen it. I love the look on the faces of the 2 young men as the elderly lady says grace.

    The other thing I like about this painting is the detail at the very front - the man reading the newspaper with a finished plate and his cup of tea. So much detail.

  7. Rockwell is very, very popular today in the US. My mother and I attended an exhibit of some of his works a year or so ago at the Detroit Institute of Arts. It was a very well attended exhibit, and everyone there seemed to love it, us included.

    If you haven't seen them before, I recommend his Freedom series. They are lovely, and very meaningful.

  8. He is one of my favorites and I have a coffee table book of many of his paintings...I don't think I will ever get tired of his work...and like the post I had of those "dumb quotes" I would say the same for those who didn't think he would amount to anything..WOW on the sale of his art pieces...and Yea! for Norman Rockwell


Post a Comment