Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Norman Rockwell - Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Norman Rockwell - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite artists of modern times. He was best known for the covers he illustrated for the Saturday Evening Post over nearly five decades. He also produced covers for the Boy Scouts of America magazine Boys' Life.

Rockwell attended the Chase Art School from the age of 14; then went to the National Academy of Design, and to the Art Students League. At 19 years old, he became the art editor of Boys' Life, and at the age of 21, he submitted his first successful cover for the Saturday Evening Post. Altogether, he published 321 covers on the Post over a period of 47 years. For the most part, his subjects were snapshots of American life and family, and often showed patriotic themes. He painted Santa Claus many times, and also sometimes chose themes based on historic events or important political events of the time.

Norman Rockwell- Scout at Ships Wheel

Norman Rockwell Red Cross Magazine 1918


In 1943, during World War II, Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms series, which was inspired by a speech by President Roosevelt. The paintings ran in the Post, each accompanied by a related essay, and then were part of a traveling exhibit as a fundraiser that brought in over $100 million in war bonds.

"Freedom of Speech" - NARA - 513536  "Freedom of Worship" - NARA - 513537

"Freedom From Want" - NARA - 513539  "Freedom from Fear" - NARA - 513538

Later that year, there was a fire in his studio which destroyed many original paintings, costumes, and props. In 1959, Rockwell took time off to grieve after his wife passed away suddenly, but during that time he and his son worked on his autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator. The Saturday Evening Post printed excerpts of the book, along with his famous Triple Self-portrait.

In 1977, President Gerald Ford awarded Rockwell the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country". Rockwell produced over 4000 original works during his lifetime, most of which are in public collections or were destroyed by fire or other mishaps. He illustrated more than 40 books, and provided artwork for calendars, advertising, catalogs, posters, and much more. It's amazing to think that this influential and beloved artist wasn't taken seriously by most art critics during this lifetime. Personally, I think President Ford's description of "affectionate portraits" is accurate. Rockwell showed everyday American life in ways that highlighted goodness, innocence, patriotism, and family ideals.

1921-6-4 No Swimming - Norman Rockwell

There are two Everyday Easels lesson plans inspired by Norman Rockwell's work at

Everyday Easels art lessons at

This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet hosted by A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool. Join in to see what others are sharing related to this week's letter!

Hopkins Homeschool

This post is linked at the Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop hosted by Learning Table.

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Anonymous said...

I love Norman Rockwell art. So simple and true!

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