Norman Rockwell By Angel Evans

Illustrations by Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell was born in New York City, in 1894. Rockwell had always wanted to be an artist at a young age, he enrolled into art class at New York School of Arts. Two years later, 1910, Rockwell left high school to study art at The National Academy of Design, he soon transferred to The Art Students League where he studied with Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgman, the two taught and prepared him for commercial commission and technical techniques. Rockwell had found early success with his illustrations on Christmas cards before his sixteenth birthday, he was also hired as art director of Boy's Life while in his teens. At age 21 Rockwell's family moved to New Rochelle, New York, where he lived in a community full of illustrators. Rockwell had opened up a studio with cartoonist Clyde Forsythe and produced work for Life, Literary Digest, and Country Men. At age 22, 1916, Rockwell had done his first cover for the magazine company The Saturday Evening Post, which is said to be the greater side show in America, Rockwell also married Irene O'Connor in 1916, but divorced in 1930. On the same year of his divorce Rockwell married Mary Barstow and had three sons with her, Thomas, Jarvis, and Peter, nine years later the Rockwell family moved to Arlington, Vermont, where Rockwell's work began to reflect on the small-town American life.

In 1943, Rockwell was inspired by Franklin D. Rosevelt's address to congress and had decided to paint the Four Freedoms painting, the paintings were reproduced on The Saturday Evening Post with essays by contemporary writers, the four paintings had grown in popularity over time and begun to tour throughout the nation in a exhibition that was jointly sponsored by the Post and US Treasury Department. Through the sale of war winds the paintings had reached to the price of $130 million for war effort. Even though the painting where a huge success, 1943 wasn't the best year for Rockwell, his studio had been destroyed by a fire, taking some of his art work along with it. In 1953, Rockwell's family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, six years later Mary Barstow had died unexpectedly. Rockwell, with the help of his son Thomas, was able to publish a autobiography called The Adventure of an Illustrator in 1960. The Saturday Evening Post carried excerpts from the bestselling book in eight consecutive issues, Rockwell's Triple Self Portrait being the first one.

In 1961, Rockwell once again got married but to Molly Punderson, two years later Rockwell ended his 47 year association with The Saturday Evening Post and began to work for Look magazine. During his 10 year association with Look, Rockwell had painted pictures illustrating his deepest concerns and interests, including civil rights, America's war on poverty, and the exploitation of space. In 1973, Rockwell had established a trust to preserve his artistic legacy be placing his works in the custodianship of the Old Corner House Stockbridge Historical Society, which soon became a muesume just for him called Norman Rockwell Muesume at Stockbridge. In 1976, with his health failing Rockwell had become concerned for the future of his studio and arrange for his studio and its contents to be added to the trust. In 1977, Rockwell had received the nations highest civilian honor, thePresidential Medal of Freedom. In 2008, Rockwell was named the official state artist of Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thanks to his dedicated effort from students in Berkshire county, where he spent the last 25 years of his life.

The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back

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