A summary of the life of Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell lived through many important moments in American history, documenting them in a realistic style that won him popular praise but was often dismissed by the art world. 

Norman Rockwell started his career as an illustrator for Boy’s Life Magazine, published by the Boy Scouts of America and a quintessential product of white, suburban, middle-class life. 

In 1916, he submitted his first illustration to The Saturday Evening Post, where he would go on to publish a total of 323 covers throughout his career.

Rockwell served as a military artist in World War I. During World War II he painted the Four Freedoms series, inspired by a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt on the universal rights of man. 

Rockwell’s work became more political with age. In 1964, he painted The Problem We All Live With of black school girl Ruby Bridges being escorted by U. S. marshals on account of racial abuse. While president, Barack Obama had the painting installed at the White House.

Despite the happy appearance of many of his paintings, Rockwell suffered from periods of depression. His doctor is said to have told Rockwell that he “painted his happiness, but did not live it.”

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