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Posted by on Feb 3, 2010 in Art, Greg, Life | 2 comments

Happy Birthday Norman Rockwell

I love the Google search page graphic today:

Norman Rockwell's Birthday - © 1926 SEPS by Curtis Publishing

Set to commemorate the birthday of American artist Norman Rockwell, it really grabbed me this morning when I saw it.

For many years the only decoration the Mrs. and I had in our first flat in Sandringham were a set of three Rockwell prints that were given to us by her dad. They are prints of three of the early cover illustrations that he did for The Saturday Evening Post magazine.

They lined the wall in our small lounge/dining room, and besides the odd photograph or two in standing frames, were the artistic focal points in the first home we shared together. This was in the early 1990’s, before we were married.

We still have the prints in one of the spare bedrooms in our home today. And whilst the frames are a little worse for wear in some places, the prints are still good – maybe now would be an appropriate time to reframe them and get them back into a more public place?

More on Norman Rockwell here.

2 Comments

  1. A fascinating artist, despite his sentimental subject matter. I think we have all been transported to another world at some time in our lives by one of his pictures. There is a lot of interesting movie trivia about his paintings (got this on Wiki this morning):

    In the film Empire of the Sun, a young boy (played by Christian Bale), is put to bed by his loving parents in a scene also inspired by a Rockwell painting—a reproduction of which is later kept by the young boy during his captivity in a prison camp. (Freedom from Fear, 1943).[13]

    The 1994 film Forrest Gump includes a shot in a school that re-creates Rockwell's "Girl with Black Eye" with young Forrest in place of the girl. Much of the film drew heavy visual inspiration from Rockwell's art.[14]

    In the film Lilo & Stitch, the end credits include a parody of Rockwell's Thanksgiving illustration. The participants in the dinner include three aliens, a native Hawaiian woman and child, and an African-American man. (Freedom from Want, 1943).

    The 1988 film Funny Farm featured a scheme concocted by a homeowner (played by Chevy Chase) where redneck townsfolk are bribed to act like the characters of Norman Rockwell's paintings to create the illusion of ideal small-town American life, making the area more appealing to prospective buyers.

    In the film The Polar Express, there appears one of the Rockwells' Saturday Evening Post covers, The Discovery (Boy Discovering Santa Suit).

    Film director George Lucas owns Rockwell's original of The Peach Crop, and his colleague Steven Spielberg owns a sketch of Rockwell's Triple Self-Portrait. Each of the artworks hangs in the respective filmmakers' workspaces.[8] Rockwell is a major character in an episode of Lucas’ Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, “Passion for Life.”

    In 2005, there was great controversy when Target Co. sold Marshall Field's to Federated Department Stores and the Federated discovered a reproduction of Rockwell's The Clock Mender, which depicted the great clocks of the Marshall Field and Company Building on display.[15][16] Rockwell had donated the painting depicted on the cover of the November 3, 1945 Saturday Evening Post to the store in 1948.[17]

    A Thanksgiving dinner scene in director Ridley Scott's 2007 film American Gangster emulates Rockwell's classic painting "Freedom from Want".

    Stand-up comedian Christopher Titus performed a one-man show early in his career entitled "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding," which revolved around the comedian's dysfunctional childhood and family. He chose the title based on his experiences being at odds with the idealized images of Rockwell's works.

    Writer Dean Koontz describes a scene of a boy and his dog sitting side by side surfing the internet as a Norman Rockwell moment of the twenty-first century in his novel Relentless.

    (sorry about the long comment, thought your readers may enjoy it).

  2. Was there not a sign above those prints for a long time that read, "NO Politics, No Religion" Allowed, I am sure it was taken down that night of the Johnny Clegg concert?

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