February 3 – Happy Birthday, Norman Rockwell

Posted on February 3, 2014

I enjoyed this artist's paintings in the form of jigsaw puzzles and magazine covers. Eventually, someone gave me a book that had pretty much all of his paintings and illustrations. 

I loved poring over that book!

The painter / illustrator whose 1894 birthday we celebrate today is Norman Rockwell. He was about as American as anyone with European heritage could be. He born in New York City. His ancestors came to North America way back in the early 1600s. He went to art school here in the U.S., and he began his career with such American institutions as Boy's Life, the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, and The Saturday Evening Post.

Rockwell was what is called “prolific” – he produced more than four THOUSAND original works!

Rockwell has long been dismissed as too commercial, too sweet and idealistic, too kitsch. However, if you study his compositions, his techniques, and his most serious pieces – such as the series on racism he painted for Look magazine – you have to admit that he was successful artistically as well as commercially.

Enjoy some of Rockwell's pieces here

Learn more about Rockwell's life here

Here is a short video about Rockwell that was created by a student. And here is a much longer and professional video biography.

Also on this date:

Paleontologist Gideon Mantell's birthday

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