I’ve recently touched down back home in the UK after an eye opening visit to the USA. Four states in 10 days, I think that’s pretty impressive, and one of those states happened to be the home of no other than Norman Rockwell’s. Yes, we visited Massachusetts just to see the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge and yes… we totalled 8 hours in the car just to see it.
But it was worth it!
For those of you who don’t know this witty illustrator, he single handedly captured the face of America in a series of illustrations for several editorials (e.g.the Evening Post) and artworks (such as the Four Freedoms of America) from about 1912 to 1969.
His work portrays the little things in life that explain a family, society or even an entire culture through a few measured paint strokes and good humour. Wandering around the exhibition made me realise how important he was to the American war effort in both world wars as well as his presence in political debate and public opinion with his poignant pieces! He is a man whose work simply documented the history of a people conveying every age group so powerfully that I couldn’t stop my ‘serious thoughtful art’ look curling into a smile as I empathised and laughed with his front page publications.
To fully appreciate his work you need to see it first hand. So have a look! Here are some photos I took in the museum. It’s the closest I could get you to them!
To be completely honest with you, I can’t help wishing that maybe some newspapers or magazine might revert back to this style. Add some charm, a hint of a smile (however small) back onto the reader’s face and a touch of hope back into the papers!