Norman Rockwell’s Vintage Prints and Originals
*Norman Rockwell’s Vintage Prints without Originals is also available*
Norman Rockwell was the last of the 19th-century genre painters, but one who came into his creative powers at a time when a new audience and market was opening up. Mass-circulated national magazines with great popularity catapulted certain artists into millions of households weekly and Rockwell clearly had the right talent at the right time. In the 1920s and 1930s, his work developed great breadth and greater character. His use of humor became an important part of his work. It was a technique he used effectively to draw the viewer into the composition to share the magic.
Rockwell was constantly seeking new ideas and new faces in his daily life. He wrote that everything he had ever seen or done had gone into his pictures. He painted not only the scenes and people close to him but, in a quest for authenticity, would approach total strangers and ask them to sit for him. His internal art of 'storytelling' became integrated with his external skills as an artist. What emerged was what we know today as an incredible facility in judging the perfect moment; when to stop the action, snap the picture...when all the elements that define and embellish a total story are in place.
At age 22 Rockwell sold his first cover piece to The Saturday Evening Post - a prized commission for an illustrator. It was the beginning of a 321-cover relationship between Rockwell and the Post. The new mood of America was reflected in Rockwell's work, as he used the entire cover, unconfined by borders and logos, to express himself.
In 1962, Rockwell was quoted in Esquire magazine as saying: "I call myself an illustrator but I am not an illustrator. Instead, I paint storytelling pictures which are quite popular but unfashionable." "Unfashionable" was a misnomer; his works were in fact very popular. He was extremely sensitive to the way the art world as well as the public judged him. "No man with a conscience can just bat out illustrations. He's got to put all of his talent, all of his feeling into them. If illustration is not considered art, then that is something that we have brought upon ourselves by not considering ourselves artists. I believe that we should say, "I am not just an illustrator, I am an artist."
Norman Rockwell’s Vintage Prints and Originals is a collection of Rockwell's work that truly reflects the currents of American life and times, from his earliest drawings to the patriotic themes of World War II to more politically oriented themes in his later years. His genius was in being able to capture the essence of what is now considered largely 'an America vanished.'