Norman Rockwell: Bridging the Gap Between Traditional and Commercial Art

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If you have ever been to a Old Country Buffet, then you have probably seen one of Norman Rockwell’s illustrations. When I was younger, my family and I went to The Old Country Buffet occasionally for breakfast. I remember being mesmerized by the illustrations that hung on the walls. The one image I remember was the one of the old sheriff sitting in a recliner on a porch with his bloodhound at his feet. I knew it was only a drawing, but it felt so real to me. As if it were going to jump out of the page. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized who they belonged to.

   Norman Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator from 1913-1963. His first real position was working for Boy’s Life. At the age of nineteen, Rockwell became the art editor for the magazine. An impressive position for someone his age to hold back then and even by today’s standards. His first publicized magazine cover was Scout at Ship’s Wheel. This appeared in the September issue of Boy’s Life in 1913.

“Scout at Ship’s Wheel”

Later Norman Rockwell worked on a number of various projects. Most of Rockwell’s famous works were for The Saturday Evening Post. Some of his most famous pieces are: Santa and Scouts in Snow (1913), The Four Freedoms (1943), Rosie The Riveter (1943), and The Rookie (1957). Norman Rockwell’s work embraces the general practices and philosophies of a traditional artist and adds the commercialism of an advertiser. The result is a refreshing take on ads.

“Santa and Scouts in Snow”

“Freedom from Want”

“Rosie The Riveter”

“The Rookie”

Posted By: Eric Christiansen

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