STOCKBRIDGE, Mass (WGGB) — For more than a half century Norman Rockwell captured the American Experience on canvas.
The art work of Norman Rockwell is housed in a beautiful state of the art museum located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
All of us are familiar with the work of Norman Rockwell whether we realize it or not. The reason is because the work of Norman Rockwell is all around us.
By putting paint to brush, and brush to canvas, Norman Rockwell transformed everyday life into classic American works of art.
“He painted the everyday scene and found magic in that scene,” said Jeremy Clowe, communications specialist with the Norman Rockwell Museum. ”I think that’s what people connect to. I think that’s what connects it to you and I”.
And its that simple human connection that made Norman Rockwell such a giant on the American art scene for more than 60 years.
Norman Rockwells art spanned four wars, nearly a dozen U.S. Presidents, through the Civil Right Movement, and through family holidays. And no one captured those moments and memories quite like Norman Rockwell did.
As he strolled around the heart of the Rockwell Museum, Jeremy Clowe gestured to the ‘Four Freedom’ paintings that hang in their place of prominence. ”All four of these paintings were actually created, and they were indeed made famous by the “For Freedom Speech’ that President Roosevelt gave back in the early 40′s”.
The Four Freedoms are housed in the heart of the Rockwell Museum. Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom of Fear. The paintings were inspired by FDR’s State of the Union Address just a month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Rockwell felt the nations uneasiness, and eased our fears through his art work.
“This painting is quite interesting,” said Clowe. ”After the September 11th bombings it has a new resonance. All four of these paintings and much of Rockwells work still is relevant today.”
“We find the same themes that really hit home and I think that’s what people are really drawn to, and why he’s still relevant.”
Rockwell’s relevance through the generations was the key to his success as an artist. Like Springfield’s Theodor Geisel, Rockwell was an Ad Man. He drew ads and magazine covers. His magazine covers made him famous, but his paintings, like ‘Fruit of the Vine, created to sell Sun Maid Raisens, made Rockwell an artist.
“When you look at these actual canvases which were then finally presented in a published format,” said Clowe. You see the amount of care that really went into all these works. Rockwell is unique because he’s outside of the field of illustration even though we present him in the context of the profession that he loved. He was trained in the fine art style.”
Real people, captured in real life situations, and immortalized on canvas. It’s the secret to Norman Rockwell’s timeless success.
You can visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This Friday you can meet Richard Clemens and Ed Locke, the two men featured in Rockwell’s famous ‘The Runaway’ painting.
The weekend, December 3-4, the town of Stockbridge will celebrate the 22nd annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, immortalized by Rockwells famous Main Street Stockbridge at Christmas.