46 Facts About Norman Rockwell


Norman Percevel Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator.


Norman Rockwell's works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of the country's culture.


Norman Rockwell is noted for his 64-year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America, during which he produced covers for their publication Boys' Life, calendars, and other illustrations.


Norman Rockwell was a prolific artist, producing more than 4,000 original works in his lifetime.


Norman Rockwell was commissioned to illustrate more than 40 books, including Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as well as painting the portraits for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, as well as those of foreign figures, including Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru.


Norman Rockwell created artwork for advertisements for Coca-Cola, Jell-O, General Motors, Scott Tissue, and other companies.


Norman Rockwell's work was dismissed by serious art critics in his lifetime.


Consequently, Norman Rockwell is not considered a "serious painter" by some contemporary artists, who regard his work as bourgeois and kitsch.


Norman Rockwell was born on February 3,1894, in New York City, to Jarvis Waring Rockwell and Anne Mary "Nancy" Rockwell, born Hill.


Norman Rockwell's father was a Presbyterian and his mother was an Episcopalian; two years after their engagement, he converted to the Episcopal faith.


Norman Rockwell transferred from high school to the Chase Art School at the age of 14.


Norman Rockwell then went on to the National Academy of Design and finally to the Art Students League.


Norman Rockwell held the job for three years, during which he painted several covers, beginning with his first published magazine cover, Scout at Ship's Wheel, which appeared on the Boys' Life September 1913 edition.


Rockwell's family moved to New Rochelle, New York, when Norman was 21 years old.


Norman Rockwell followed that success with Circus Barker and Strongman, Gramps at the Plate, Redhead Loves Hatty Perkins, People in a Theatre Balcony, and Man Playing Santa.


Norman Rockwell was published eight times on the Post cover within the first year.


Ultimately, Norman Rockwell published 323 original covers for The Saturday Evening Post over 47 years.


When Norman Rockwell's tenure began with The Saturday Evening Post in 1916, he left his salaried position at Boys' Life, but continued to include scouts in Post cover images and the monthly magazine of the American Red Cross.


Norman Rockwell resumed work with the Boy Scouts of America in 1926 with production of his first of fifty-one original illustrations for the official Boy Scouts of America annual calendar, which still may be seen in the Norman Rockwell Art Gallery at the National Scouting Museum in Cimarron, New Mexico.


Norman Rockwell was given the role of a military artist and did not see any action during his tour of duty.


In 1943, during World War II, Norman Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms series, which was completed in seven months and resulted in him losing fifteen pounds.


Norman Rockwell then painted Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship and Freedom from Fear.


Norman Rockwell used the Pennell shipbuilding family from Brunswick, Maine as models for two of the paintings, Freedom from Want and A Thankful Mother, and would combine models from photographs and his own vision to create his idealistic paintings.


Norman Rockwell considered Freedom of Speech to be the best of the four.


Norman Rockwell was contacted by writer Elliott Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp, with the suggestion that the three of them should make a daily comic strip together, with Caplin and his brother writing and Norman Rockwell drawing.


The project was ultimately aborted as it turned out that Norman Rockwell, known for his perfectionism as an artist, could not deliver material so quickly as would be required of him for a daily comic strip.


In 1949, Norman Rockwell donated an original Post cover, April Fool, to be raffled off in a library fund raiser.


In 1959, after his wife Mary died suddenly from a heart attack, Norman Rockwell took time off from his work to grieve.


Norman Rockwell's last painting for the Post was published in 1963, marking the end of a publishing relationship that had included 321 cover paintings.


Norman Rockwell spent the next 10 years painting for Look magazine, where his work depicted his interests in civil rights, poverty, and space exploration.


In 1966, Norman Rockwell was invited to Hollywood to paint portraits of the stars of the film Stagecoach, and found himself appearing as an extra in the film, playing a "mangy old gambler".


In 1968, Norman Rockwell was commissioned to do an album cover portrait of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper for their record, The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.


Norman Rockwell's last commission for the Boy Scouts of America was a calendar illustration titled The Spirit of 1976, which was completed when Rockwell was 82, concluding a partnership which generated 471 images for periodicals, guidebooks, calendars, and promotional materials.


For "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country", Norman Rockwell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1977 by President Gerald Ford.


Norman Rockwell married his first wife, Irene O'Connor, on July 1,1916.


Norman Rockwell moved to Arlington, Vermont, in 1939 where his work began to reflect small-town life.


In 1953, the Norman Rockwell family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so that his wife could be treated at the Austen Riggs Center, a psychiatric hospital at 25 Main Street, close to where Norman Rockwell set up his studio.


Norman Rockwell received psychiatric treatment, seeing the analyst Erik Erikson, who was on staff at Riggs.


Norman Rockwell married his third wife, retired Milton Academy English teacher, Mary Leete "Mollie" Punderson, on October 25,1961.


Directly underneath Norman Rockwell's studio was, for a time in 1966, the Back Room Rest, better known as the famous "Alice's Restaurant".


From 1961 until his death, Norman Rockwell was a member of the Monday Evening Club, a men's literary group based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


The Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum is a national research institute dedicated to American illustration art.


Norman Rockwell's Breaking Home Ties sold for $15.4 million at a 2006 Sotheby's auction.


In 2008, Norman Rockwell was named the official state artist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Norman Rockwell designed an album cover for The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.


Norman Rockwell was commissioned by English musician David Bowie to design the cover artwork for his 1975 album Young Americans, but the offer was retracted after Rockwell informed him he would need at least half a year to complete a painting for the album.