This article was written by @mamamochy for The Art Club.

Hi everyone! This is @mamamochy. I bet you all have listened at least once to Lana Del Rey’s song “Norman Fucking Rockwell”... but do you know who this person really is?

Keep on reading if I got your attention!

Norman Percevel Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. He was a prolific artist, producing more than 4000 original works in his lifetime; he was also commissioned to illustrate more than 40 books and he painted portraits for presidents, including Kennedy and Johnson.

lana, Norman Rockwell, and paradise image
He was born on February 3, 1894 in New York City and he died on November 8, 1978 in Stockbridge at the age of 84.

His art movement is regionalism, an American realist modern art movement depicting realistic scenes of rural and small-town America primarily in the Midwest and Deep South. It arose in the 1930s as a response to the Great Depression, and ended in the 1940s due to the end of World War II and a lack of development within the movement. It reached its height of popularity from 1930 to 1935, as it was widely appreciated for its reassuring images of the American heartland during the Great Depression. Despite major stylistic differences between specific Regionalist artists, Regionalist art in general was in a relatively conservative and traditionalist style that appealed to popular American sensibilities, while strictly opposing the perceived domination of French art.

Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over nearly five decades. Among the best-known of Rockwell's works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, Saying Grace, and the Four Freedoms series.

Norman Rockwell image art, dress, and Norman Rockwell image

He started studying art at the age of 14, and attended different schools, which introduced him to his first commercial commissions. He will always rely on the technical skills he learned with George Bridgman at The Art Students League.

At 16, Rockwell started professionally illustrating Christmas themes for greeting cards. At 21, he moved with his family to New Rochelle, a New York suburb. He opened a studio with a cartoonist friend, Clyde Forsythe. He started to draw for significant magazines like Life and The Saturday Evening Post.

The 1930s and 1940s are generally considered to be the most fruitful decades of Rockwell’s career. In 1930 he married Mary Barstow, a schoolteacher, and the couple had three sons, Jarvis, Thomas, and Peter. The family moved to Arlington, Vermont, in 1939, and Rockwell’s work began to reflect small-town American life.

In 1930, Rockwell then went to California, where he became friends with Walt Disney. When the Second World War exploded, Rockwell created a series of covers featuring the recruit Willie Gillis, a fictional character, published from 1941 to 1946.

art, artist, and christmas image art, artist, and Norman Rockwell image
1920, cover; 1946, Willie Gillis in College

In 1943, inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt’s address to Congress, Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms paintings. They were reproduced in four consecutive issues of The Saturday Evening Post with essays by contemporary writers. Rockwell’s interpretations ofFreedom of Speech, Freedom to Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear proved to be enormously popular. Unlucky, afterwards a fire destroyed his Arlington studio as well as numerous paintings and his collection of historical costumes and props.

art, artist, and Norman Rockwell image art, artist, and Norman Rockwell image
1943, Rosie The Riveter; 1943, Freedom from Want

In 1953, the Rockwell family moved from Arlington, Vermont, to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Six years later, Mary Barstow Rockwell died unexpectedly. In collaboration with his son Thomas, Rockwell published his autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, in 1960.

In 1961, Rockwell married Molly Punderson, a retired teacher. Two years later, he ended his 47-year association with The Saturday Evening Post and began to work for Look magazine, for which he painted pictures illustrating some of his deepest concerns and interests, including civil rights, America’s war on poverty, and the exploration of space

In 1973, Rockwell established a trust to preserve his artistic legacy by placing his works in the custodianship of the Old Corner House Stockbridge Historical Society, later to become Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge. He later arranged to have his studio and its contents added to the trust. In 1977, Rockwell received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 2008, Rockwell was named the official state artist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thanks to a dedicated effort from students in Berkshire County.

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Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed. ➼ Norman Rockwell