Category Archives: Norman Rockwell

It’s a Norman Rockwell Kind of Holiday

It’s that time of year again when fluffy white flakes and yuletide carols fill the sights and sounds of suburban Michigan. And just down the street from Park West Gallery’s Southfield location lies the historic little town of Franklin, twinkling with holiday spirit.

Jolly Postman by Norman Rockwell, Park West GalleryFranklin Village, Michigan, Park West Gallery

Like it was yanked from a Christmas snow globe, downtown Franklin lights up with cheer, perfect for antiquing or site-seeing, looking for gifts or stopping for tea. Visitors to the town will definitely feel like they’re in a Norman Rockwell painting, nostalgic for the era of “The Saturday Evening Post.”

Painting what he knew, Rockwell studied his friends and neighbors for more than fifty years for his famous magazine covers. With an ongoing theme of childlike naivety, gentle teasing, and family values, more than 300 covers were painted throughout his career.

In the mood to experience even more holiday merriment? Works by Norman Rockwell are currently on display at Park West Gallery in Southfield – just minutes from charming downtown Franklin.

And don’t forget: the Park West Gallery Holiday Sale doesn’t end until December 26, so if there’s still someone special on your Holiday to-do list, gift them something they’re guaranteed not to have!
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Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of The Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors. For more information, please call 800-521-9654 x 4 or email sales@parkwestgallery.com

For more information about Park West Gallery’s land and cruise ship auctions, visit our website at www.parkwestgallery.com.

An Election Day Tribute to Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell, Election Day“Election Day” by Norman Rockwell. October 30, 1948 cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

Today is Election Day in the United States; it is a day when Americans will flock to the polls and exercise their freedom to vote for their favorite political candidates.

Perhaps no other artist is more closely associated with depicting the freedom of the American spirit than Norman Rockwell. His illustrations evoke messages of family, equality, tolerance, love of country and imagination. 

(Learn more about Norman Rockwell at Park West Gallery Artist Biographies.)

Much has been written about Norman Rockwell, but the best way to really experience his message is to look at his body of work. The following video segment shows a terrific montage of Rockwell’s famous cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post, all set to the swingin’ sounds of Benny Goodman, another American original. Please enjoy! (And remember to get out and vote!)

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Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of The Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors. For more information, please call 800-521-9654 x 4 or email sales@parkwestgallery.com

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Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg

George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Norman Rockwell Telling Stories[Photo credit: CBS] Director George Lucas stands in front of Norman Rockwell’s “Shadow Artist” (1912).

“If I hadn’t become a painter,
I would have liked to have been a movie director.”
—Norman Rockwell

WASH., D.C.—The Smithsonian American Art Museum is currently hosting an exhibition featuring the private art collections of two of America’s best-known modern filmmakers. Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is on view through January 2, 2011, and showcases 57 major Rockwell paintings and drawings.

norman rockwell, polley voos fransay

According to the museum, Telling Stories is the first major exhibition to explore in-depth the connections between Norman Rockwell’s iconic images of American life and the movies. During frequent visits to Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s, Rockwell designed posters for several studios and immersed himself in the culture of the movie industry. Rockwell’s exposure to Hollywood and movie productions affected the process that he used to construct his images and the stories he depicted in his paintings.

Norman Rockwell was a masterful storyteller who often went to great lengths to stage the scenes for his paintings. He auditioned the models, chose their costumes, arranged props, lighted the sets and, like a movie director, demonstrated poses and facial expressions. The artist created scenes that parallel themes also found in movies, popular fiction and current events. The films of Lucas and Spielberg, like Rockwell paintings, evoke love of country, small-town values, children growing up, unlikely heroes, acts of imagination and life’s ironies.

For more on this exhibit, please visit americanart.si.edu

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Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of the Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors. For more information, please call 800.521.9654 x 4 or email sales@parkwestgallery.com

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Today in Art History: May 20, 1916

On this day in 1916, a 22-year-old Norman Rockwell painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post. Over the next 47 years, the artist would paint over 300 covers for the publication.

The original oil on canvas painting, titled Boy with Baby Carriage (or alternatively, Salutation) and measuring 20.75 x 18.625 inches, is currently housed at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts.

Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell, Park West GalleryNorman Rockwell’s first cover for The Saturday Evening Post, published May 20, 1916.

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Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of the Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors. For more information, please call 800.521.9654 x 4 or email sales@parkwestgallery.com

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Happy 116th Birthday Norman Rockwell!

“I’m not going to be caught around here for any fool celebration. To hell with birthdays!” —Norman Rockwell (Feb. 3, 1894 – Nov. 8, 1978)

Norman Rockwell, Google doodle, Park West GalleryToday’s Google doodle celebrates Norman Rockwell’s birthday

Happy Birthday Norman Rockwell!! To honor the most popular and well-known American artist of all time, today’s Google doodle incorporates an illustration by Norman Rockwell entitled Little Spooners. The popular painting appeared on the front cover of the Saturday Evening Post on April 24, 1926.

Not long ago, Park West Gallery Director, Morris Shapiro, wrote an original essay Experiencing Rockwell, offering his thoughts on the artist. In part:

Norman Rockwell produced over 4,000 works of art in his lifetime, a lifetime that he devoted to unfailing artistic discipline and committed to sharing his view of our world with an emphasis on humankind’s higher morals and enduring values. His messages of family, equality, freedom, tolerance, and even human shortcomings touched more Americans than any other artist with our shared heritage. His contributions to the American spirit during World War II are legendary, particularly in the way that he focused not so much on our soldiers fighting abroad but on the heroism and bravery of the everyday people who remained at home.

From my own experience, it has been an honor to work with Curtis Publishing, the owners of the intellectual rights to Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post imagery, and the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company, managed by the artist’s family, in the development of limited edition prints created exclusively for Park West Gallery clients. More recently, these works have been realized as hand-drawn lithographs created at the same studio French artist Marcel Mouly used for the creation of his lithographs.

I’ve also had the pleasure of offering original Rockwell drawings and seeing several of them collected. It is truly a thrill for an art dealer to be a part of the joy experienced by someone who has the rare opportunity to acquire something of this kind of rarity and historic importance. Through this process and in viewing so many of his works, I have gained a deeper appreciation for Rockwell’s art…” Read More >>

For more information about the Park West Gallery Norman Rockwell Collection, please email sales@parkwestgallery.com or call 800-521-9654 x 4.
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Honoring MLK Day: Norman Rockwell and the Civil Rights Movement

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (Aug. 28, 1963)

“The Problem We All Live With” (1964) by Norman Rockwell.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (observed this year on Monday, January 18), Park West Gallery would like to share, in part, a noteworthy article published today by the South Florida Times

The author of the article entitled, “Rockwell painted civil rights portraits, too,” challenges the popular belief that legendary illustrator and storyteller Norman Rockwell ignored racial and social issues, depicting only a narrow ethnic view of the white upper class. The article argues that although at times Rockwell was constrained by editorial guidelines, the artist was, in reality, very socially concerned and a genuine supporter of the Civil Rights Movement.
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FORT LAUDERDALE — (…) One of the most beloved American artists of the 20th century, [Norman] Rockwell worked at the [Saturday Evening] Post for 47 years, drawing images that would be reprinted as the news magazine’s cover. Because the Post’s subscribers were largely well-to-do whites, Rockwell was constrained there to narrative paintings of the everyday lives of ordinary white people. The magazine required that black people only be seen in service positions.

After leaving the Post in 1963 Rockwell diverted from his familiar themes of family, friendship and community in societal bliss, and started to illustrate current events for Look magazine. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, his first illustration for Look, published in January 1964, was The Problem We All Live With, based on the real-life story of Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old girl who, in 1960, became the first African-American child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans. It was not the sort of work expected from Rockwell, who went from idealism to realism.

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Here was a man that had been doing lots of work, painting family images, and all of a sudden decided this is what I’m going to do… it’s wrong, and I’m going to say that it’s wrong… the mere fact that [Norman Rockwell] had enough courage to step up to the plate and say I’m going to make a statement, and he did it in a very powerful way… even though I had not had an opportunity to meet him, I commend him for that.”
—Ruby Bridges Hall

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In the painting, a little black girl dressed in white is escorted on her first day to school by four faceless U.S. Marshals, the wall behind them defaced with the N-word and the messy red gush of a tomato that someone threw at her. Rockwell was a member of the early NAACP, long before he began this painting, and even wrote a $1,000 check to the movement in the 1950s, according to Laurie Norton Moffatt, director and CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum.

“He was very socially concerned, but he wasn’t able to paint that in the Post because of editorial policies,” Moffatt said. “I think it was very liberating for him as well to be able to paint on a wider spectrum of subjects, and was particularly able to create a bridge for people to see the unfairness, the anger, the meanness, and the injustices that were happening to our children all over the United States…”
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Read the Full Article >>

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Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of the Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors. For more information, please call 800.521.9654 x 4.
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Norman Rockwell: Behind the CameraSTOCKBRIDGE, MA — A landmark exhibition that sheds new light on Norman Rockwell’s art and artistry is on view at Norman Rockwell Museum. Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first exhibition to explore in depth Rockwell’s richly detailed study photographs, created by the artist as references for his iconic paintings. This the final major exhibition of Norman Rockwell Museum’s 40th anniversary year.

“Norman Rockwell was a natural storyteller with an unerring eye for detail,” said Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Norman Rockwell Museum. “This ground-breaking exhibition shows how that narrative instinct found its first expression in the artist’s meticulously composed photographs.”

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera brings together approximately 120 prints of Rockwell’s study photographs and 25 original paintings and drawings linked to the photographs on display. In addition to original art from Norman Rockwell Museum’s collection, several significant works are on loan from such noted institutions as The Brooklyn Museum, The Memorial Art Gallery, and The National Air and Space Museum, and will be featured in the exhibition. The result is a fascinating frame-by-frame view of the development of some of Rockwell’s most indelible images. At the same time, the photographs themselves – painstakingly staged by Rockwell and involving an array of models, costumes, props, and settings – are fully realized works of art in their own right.

Guest curator Ron Schick is the first researcher to undertake a comprehensive study of Norman Rockwell Museum’s newly digitized photography archives. This repository of nearly 20,000 images encapsulates Rockwell’s use of photography over four decades.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is now on view through May 21, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.nrm.org

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Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration

Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of the Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors.
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Norman Rockwell. The Muscleman, 1941.FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Gari Melchers Home and Studio is hosting the exhibition Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum. One of the most successful visual communicators of the twentieth century, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a keen observer of human nature. Created over six decades, his carefully conceived narrative for the masses gave voice to the ideals and aspirations of real people and served as a reassuring guide during an ear of sweeping social and technological change.

Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration features 11 original paintings by Norman Rockwell from the collection of Pfizer Inc., which are among the finest examples of the artist’s advertising imagery. Norman Rockwell’s paintings explore the doctor/patient relationship, health and healing across generations, and the importance of physical fitness. In addition to the outstanding Rockwell canvases are featured 14 of today’s preeminent illustrators from the pages of Healthy Living, Men’s Health, Newsweek, The New York Times and The New Yorker. Their artwork presents a contemporary perspective on many of the same health-related subjects explored nearly 50 years earlier by Rockwell.

Picturing Health: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Illustration is now on view through January 31, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.GariMelchers.org

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