Norman Rockwell

(1894—1978) American illustrator

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(b New York, 3 Feb. 1894; d Stockbridge, Mass., 8 Nov. 1978).

American illustrator and painter. He studied at various art schools in New York and by the time he was 18 was a full-time professional illustrator. In 1916 he had a cover accepted by the Saturday Evening Post, the biggest-selling weekly publication in the USA (its circulation was then about 3,000,000), and hundreds of others followed for this magazine until it ceased publication in 1969. He also worked for many other publications. Rockwell's subjects were drawn from everyday American life and his style was anecdotal, sentimental, and lovingly detailed: he described his pictorial territory as ‘this best-possible-world, Santa-down-the-chimney, lovely-kids-adoring-their-kindly-grandpa sort of thing’. Such work brought him immense popularity, making him something of a national institution. For most of his career critics dismissed his work as corny, but he began to receive serious attention as a painter late in his career. In his later years, too, he sometimes turned to more serious subjects, producing, for example, a series on racism for Look magazine. From 1953 until his death he lived at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where a large museum devoted to his work opened in 1993.

Subjects: Art.

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