Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

      "Mother and Son Peeling Potatoes"

     "Freedom from Want"

These are some of the quintessential Thanksgiving images painted by the illustrator, Norman Rockwell.

Did you know Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) entered the National Academy of Design in New York City at the young age of 15?   At age 19 he was the art editor of Boy's Life magazine, scoring his first cover in 1913.  His first Saturday Evening Post cover was published in 1916 and was the first of 321 covers he would create over a forty seven year span. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 by President Gerald R. Ford his "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country" touched the hearts of all Americans. (1)

I remember his work and the magazine covers as a young girl. As an art student (James Madison University, 1975) the debate was if Rockwell was considered an artist or an illustrator; one having more artistic license and one being more photo-realistic.  My camp back then was that he was an illustrator, but you can't discount the productivity, how he became a household name, and the message in his work, a coveted spot of artists and illustrators alike.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Have a warm and loving holiday.


  1. Dear Nancy, I remember these images so well.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Family! He had such a gift for capturing life in America.

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Nancy ~ wishing you a wonderful day with your family!

  3. When the paintings of Norman Rockwell were exhibited at the High Museum in Atlanta, the docent with our group said that the lady holding the huge turkey on the platter in front of her family at the table died within an hour after Rockwell finished having those folks pose for 3 solid hours. Supposedly, she begged him to allow her to put that turkey down and he refused. Sadly, since learning that, I've never enjoyed that picture.

  4. Nancy, I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
    One of my best friends from college is from a town in western Massachusetts that is right on the New York border. Many people that live out there were the subjects in Normal Rockwell paintings (or illustrations if you will!) in real places like an ice cream shop, and it's common for the people in that area to give his prints as gifts. My friend has a couple of prints of people from families she knows- kind of neat I think!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Nancy & Bethany. I hope you are having a 'Rockwell' family weekend.

  6. So nostalgic, love it! Hope you had a wonderful day!!!

  7. Love these images ... they truly evoke the "American Thanksgiving" feeling! xo


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