View Full Version : Norman Rockwell - evaluate his work

Talmadge Moose
09-24-1999, 05:27 AM
Where would you place the work of Norman Rockwell in the world of Art? Is his work Art? Why? Do you like his work? Why? Have you ever seen his original paintings? I would like to hear your opinions, but please give reasons for your position.


10-24-1999, 01:25 AM

Talmadge Moose
10-24-1999, 11:34 AM
to jacksonhere,
I assume you are much younger than I for the subject matter to bother you that much. I grew up in times much like Norman Rockwell depicted, so the subject matter does not bother me so much. I look past it, anyway, when I look at the paintings of Norman Rockwell. We cannot relate to the subjects that Rubens depicted, except that we will love his subject matter if we have a preference for overweight women. But I love the work of Rubens for things that have nothing to do with his subject matter. He could paint flesh like no other artists before him, and few after him.
I would like to know if you have seen any of Norman Rockwell's original paintings. Also, there is a new travelling exhibit of Rockwell's work starting in Atlanta on November 6. This exhibit will end at the Guggenheim (spelling) in New York. There is an excellent book published in conjunction of this exhibit. Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People. It is written by several experts in the art field, and is a reevaluation of Rockwell. You might read it if you have time.
But what else bothers you besides the subject matter? If you have not seen the original paintings by Rockwell, then you have very little information with which to form an opinion. Informed opinion, that is what we all want. And you certainly have a right to your opinion. I would just like to get a little deeper. Not just skim the surface. (and you do not even get surface in a reproduction of any artist's work)

10-24-1999, 11:58 AM
Hey Jacksonhere, you said "HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A GREAT". Well, I don't know about you, but if my name was a "household word" and my work was spread across America for most of my life... I might consider myself GREAT.

10-24-1999, 09:30 PM
I'm afraid,I am pretty chicken hearted about voicing an opinion, until someone really goes against my grain. I love Rockwells work!

I'll admit, I'm not college educated in the proper arguments, gleaned from which ever mentor, or critic, I am choosing to emulate at the time...(does anyone really understand the double talk and gobbledygook of an intellectual critique?) But, I'll offer my plain spoken opinion.

Why do people tend to dismiss the importance of a social or political statement because it has been offered with humor and gentle grace? (Maybe you have to be gone at least half a century for those vitues to be appreciated. Or maybe, the same rules don't apply to art that apply to literature...Many
writers are admired for that ability...Mark Twain springs to mind, without much prompting.)

Many of the paintings of the Masters were equally as satirical, in thier time, but, the satire is lost on us, who don't have a clue concerning the social or political climate of that time. (I suppose, Michealangelo's work would be considered maudlin, sentimental, biblical pap...by today's critical standards...which is why, I don't give much notice to criticism for criticisms sake.)

So....In case there is any doubt where I stand on this subject...I love Rockwell's work. He chronicalled the times of his life with humor and grace, he also, dealt with some of the weighter issues as well, it seems I recall some very compelling and compassionate denouncements of segregation...and war.

There are may illustrators whose work is art, I'm not sure the opposite is true...If the subject has to be explained, did the artist fulfill his purpose?

I suppose I've said more than enough for someone who doesn't care to share thier opinion.

Heartfelt sincerity,

[This message has been edited by BillieD (edited 10-24-99).]

s mckee
10-25-1999, 02:30 AM
The word 'art' has taken such varied meaning these last hundred years that definitively marking any thing 'art' or any one 'artist' is practically impossible. You can go about it democratically, I suppose, as we are doing right here.

But I think what Talmadge Moose was originally asking was: 'should Norman Rockwell be included in our art history alongside the already accepted art giants of his time?' I may be wrong - I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth.

Norman Rockwell does NOT generally appear in our art history books, despite the fact that a run-of-the-mill Western art history text has much to say about American painting in Rockwell's time. The problem is that these books (and the courses derived from them) divide history into neat packages to create the appearance of a natural progression. The package of Rockwell's time was Late Modern - massive New York abstractions - and in this Rockwell cannot, obviously, be included.

History books are fiction, largely. They don't necessarily get the individual facts wrong, but through the deliberate (and unconsious) inclusion of certain facts and exclusion of others, they wind up usually missing the point for the sake of a more interesting story.

But that which constitutes an interesting story changes all the time. Guido Reni was once considered the greatest of the Post-Raphael Classical painters - and a major character in art history texts. 'Mannerist' painters, like Bronzino or Pontormo, did not fit into the 'package' that historians of that time had chosen for the late 16th century - the continuation of Classicism - and so they were generally not included in art history texts. Open a current art history text and you will see that the opposite is true today. Reni is barely mentioned and 'Mannerism' is considered the new 'package' for that time and place.

I think my point here is that while Rockwell does not currently fit into that 'package' which the establishment has decided upon for mid-20th century American art, there is no saying that he will not in the future. Maybe future historians will start noting other trends of that time other than Modernism. Maybe Modernism will be dismissed altogether as having zenithed some time between the world wars and that all that New York stuff was just derivative drivel. It is anyone's guess what tomorrow's take on yesterday will be.

But as for today, I've never studied Rockwell closely so I won't comment. My practical definition of art has always been: 'do I linger by it?' I've never 'lingered by' a Norman Rockwell, but then, I've never come across an original Norman Rockwell.

I apologize for writing a reply so long which says so little.

10-25-1999, 04:51 AM
hey jacksonhere,,,,,rockwell was an ILLUSTRATOR...so what's the reason in comparing his points to say,,,,,,a degas' or a velasquez's. he was given one month or less deadlines to ILLUSTRATE ideas by art directors and story editors for mass publication consumption. all you're really doing is comparing the philosophies of "fine" art to commercial . apples and oranges.

"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited 10-25-99).]

10-26-1999, 02:15 PM
Ilustration IS art. Norman Rockwell's work is appreciated and loved because of the poignant snippets of time that he captures.
Just because he made an honest living by it and was on the staff of a magazine doesn't lessen his contribution one whit.
I haven't had the pleasure of seeing any of his originals, but it is a mark of his mastery that you don't necessarily have to see it in person to enjoy it. When he painted for publication he had to create work that was easily reproducible.
As far as his subject matter, he created pieces that expressed the nature of his times. Do you know for sure that his editors dictated to him what he was to paint each and every time? Even if they specifically ordered every subject matter (which I doubt) it doesn't lessen his impact on the art world. His work has touched many people who never would have seen it if it had been hung in a museum somewhere.
I'd rather see a Norman Rockwell than some of the art that's being promoted as 'fine' today.
To me, it takes more skill to be an illustrator than a fine artist. If you are a skilled illustrator, you can conquer any 'fine' art, because fine art is your own expression. But when you work as an illustrator, you have to create an image that evokes an emotion for a purpose, based on someone else's idea/concept. You are using your talents/skills to make a living, and you have to be extremely skilled at your craft to be successful.
An artist who works as an illustrator is an even better artist; he gets to eat more often and he gets to ply his craft to a wider audience. I'd rather draw and paint for a living, than other thing I can think of.
I think Norman Rockwell's work would still be an important addition to American Art in this century even if he had not had the benefit of magazine publication regularly printing his work on it's cover.

10-26-1999, 03:36 PM
Yea Sandee! You go girl! Hey I don't know why anyone would think that an illustrator or anyone who gets paid for their art is not an artist. Thats what all artists want...either riches for their art or fame for their art. And I'm not sure if lingering by something is a good way of deciding fine art or not 'cause what is one person's art is another's trash. You know what I mean? Not all of us like the same thing (thank goodness). Someone who has to dig deep within and dig up the inspiration to depict an attitude, an object, a subject,
or whatever, dictated by an outside source is a very talented artist indeed. In ending,('cause I'm not very good at wording my ideas), I'd like to say that I love Norman Rockwell's work. I don't have to see his originals to apreciate the talent and work that went into each one. He had a great style all his own.

Slawe Monster

10-26-1999, 03:45 PM
sandee,,,are you jumpin' on ME???

"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

10-27-1999, 07:53 AM
No way! I don't jump on anyone... I just humbly disagree with certain perceptions re: 'fine' art or 'illustration'.
First Jacksonhere made a comment about Rockwell being a "consummate draftsmen" then proceeds to dismiss everything he has done simply because a) he finds the subject matter boring (I find Picasso's cubist stuff boring myself, but does that lessen his impact?) and b) he actually made a regular salary creating these images! How dare he!
Point A is entriely subjective. Point B is a reality of life... unless you are born wealthy or have a patron. Neither point has any bearing whatsoever on Norman Rockwell's contribution to 20th Century American Art. Bruin, you came along and seemed to emphasize that he was an illustrator not a draftsmen, and that his comparing his work to fine art is like comparing apples and oranges... I just wholeheartedly disagree.
I have worked professionally as a drafter (in the BC days... BEFORE COMPUTER!) and now I am working as an illustrator, and persuing my fine art on the side. I can tell you that all the skills I learned in both professions are the same ones that many artists in the fine arts arena all struggle to learn (like perspective, design, composition, balance, etc). I just disagree with the perception that illustration/commercial art cannot be a contribution to 'fine' art. Art is art... if an illustrator such as Rockwell can make an impact like he did during his time and become such a well loved for his portrayal of slices of American life, then to me that is beyond fine, it's a treasure.
I don't jump anyone, I just like to discuss these things. We don't have to agree on everything... now THAT would be *BORING*

10-27-1999, 03:37 PM
sandee...i didn't make any value judgement on rockwell. but that there is definetly a diff between fine art and illustration. in illustration, there a fast deadline, you work other people's ideas, and in normy's case,,,the goal was point of purchase. that is,,,he had to create art that stopped the casual passerby, and draw them to purchase the magazine. this is what illustation does. i didn't say he was an illustrator, not a draftsman. a draftsman is a draftman, illustartor or no, fine art or no.....anywho,,,i did illustration before moving to fine art.

"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

Talmadge Moose
10-29-1999, 07:42 PM
Most of the comments thus far on Rockwell's work seems based on seeing reproductions of his work. True, he painted for reproduction, and had the uncanny ability of playing to the medium. Nothing wrong with that. But to see original works of Rockwell is to see other dimensions of his work not available to those who only see the reproductions.

There will be a travelling exhibit of about 70 original works by Rockwell. The first exhibit will take place in Atlanta starting November 6 at the High Museum. Be on the lookout for it in a city near you. You will not regret having viewed his originals.

I would like to hear more from those who have seen the originals. Anyone see his mastery of color, or pictorial design? His variety of approaches to applying paint to canvas. He was truly a master of his field. Many tried, but no one came near producing works like his.

10-29-1999, 08:08 PM
i love his early work. painterly...i found his later things overworked, tedious. but that's his style. take it or leave it. i prefer his contemporaries. schaffer, flagg, cornwell. i never found his color to be inspirational. really, some classic illustrative approaches, but not ground breaking. actually, his color prelims were amazing. WHAT A DRAWER! i think he had the talent to do anything he wanted, but years at the post covers redirected his perceptions. you can find a few quick sketches that are brilliant. but mostly, even when doing "his own" stuff, he was affected by years of doing minutea.
you must have seen an early boy scout painting. master scout adult , standing, looking down on his troop...all against a night sky, a deep rich blue,,,WITH AN INCREDIBLE RED UNDERPAINTING. this one has always stayed with me. this is the kind of thing everyone is missing in print.,,,milt

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited 10-29-99).]

Talmadge Moose
10-30-1999, 07:45 AM
thanks, Milt,
this is the kind of reaction I have been looking for. I hope more of you will respond with your own observations. Milt proves my point, you need to see Norman Rockwell's originals to get everything he has to offer. Not all the work of any artist is going to be of equal quality, and especially when yuou are doing art on demand, with deadlines, such as the illustrator is faced with. Yes, Mead Schaeffer was more painterly than most of Rockwell's work. Dean Cornwell was probably a better composer or designer. James Montgomery Flagg never quite reached me. I always thought he was Sargent overdone. Too much technique for me. Anyhow, thanks Milt.

10-30-1999, 09:37 AM
Hey gang - new cover story on Rockwell. Linked in the WetCanvas! news archive, or directly here:



Talmadge Moose
11-13-1999, 12:27 AM
Anyone who has been to the new Rockwell show in Atlanta? I would like an opinion and reaction to the show from anyone who has seen it. If you are in the area, I do hope you will be able to view the works of Rockwell and see the originals. I plan to go to Atlanta as soon as my health will allow. But until I am able to get there, I would love to hear from someone who has seen the show.

11-17-1999, 10:03 AM
Hey how long is the Norman Rockwell exhibit going to be in Atlanta? My mother-in-law lives just south of there and we MIGHT be in the area over Christmas... I already told my hubby that it is a MUST to go see it if it's still there. Does anyone have the phone number of the museum?
I would love to see his work in person.

Talmadge Moose
11-17-1999, 04:30 PM
The Norman Rockwell exhibit will be on exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta until the end of Januiary. I understand they had sold 30,000 advance tickets before the show opened. I understand you almost must make advance reservations. Tickets are $13 weekdays, $15 weekends. Tickets can be purchased through TLicketmaster on the phone. The phone number at the museum is: (404) 733-5000. Hope this all helps. Same day tickets cannot be purchased over the phone You also must buy tickets for the specific time you intend to attend. Let me hear from you after you have seen the show. If I get a chance to get down to see it, I will give my impressions upon return. If I miss the show in Atlanta, I will try to see it in Washington this summer.

Talmadge Moose
11-17-1999, 04:42 PM
further answer to jacksonhere, posted 10-24-99.
I am one of those 50's zombies you talk about. Oh yes, a few of us still live. My reaction to a Rockwell cover, when it arrived, was first of all that it was definitely a cover by Rockwell. I never confused him with another artist. My next reaction was to his art, how he presented and designed the picture, and as best as I was able at the time, how he achieved his effects. I swear to you, his subject matter was not what attracted me to his art. But, boy, could he tell a story with his choice of pose, props, design, and details. You have probably been told it is cute, normal, and even necessary to hate Rockwell if you are going to be an artist. Read the latest book, which is a catalog of this latest exhibit. And a brilliant piece by Michael Kimmelman, in the New York Times is just great. Mr. Kimmelman could not be taken as one of the knee-jerk liberals, but he is far from ultra conservative. Try to get that article and read it.

s mckee
11-17-1999, 07:21 PM
The discussion here has centered on the way Rockwell applied paint - I can't comment on that as I have never seen a Rockwell that was not a print. But I think so far as Rockwell is maligned, it isn't for any lack of technical ability - it is for his subject matter.

I wonder if Rockwell's creative ability isn't, in a way, responsible for his now being maligned? What I mean is, his depiction of mid-20th century, small town innocence was so absolutely convincing that we have, today, come to believe that it was an accurate representation of the times and places in which Rockwell lived. And as a result, we assume Rockwell was just blindly mirroring his times.

I don't think the "mid-20th century, small town innocence" portrayed by Rockwell ever really existed. People who lived in those times might remember them as such, but everyone thinks fondly of times long past: I remember the late '70s as a time of innocence, for heaven's sake!

My point is, I think Rockwell's content is not as simple as it appears: it wasn't just laid out before him. It was his invention. He created a mythology out of his own times.

But I never lived there and then, so I could be very, very wrong.

11-18-1999, 11:33 AM
Thanks Talmadge! I'm glad I asked now and didn't just show up. Man why are they making it so difficult? Is it really worth going through all these 'requirements'? Why don't they allow you to buy a ticket at the museum itself? Ridiculous!
I will call the musuem myself and ask them. Chances are they are 'sold out' for any day I may be there, and I may not know whether we go to Atlanta until the week before. What a pain! i may not get to see it after all http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif

s mckee
11-18-1999, 07:07 PM
I find it a little strange to have to defend Picasso.

Talmadge Moose, I think you are frustrated with the lack of critical respect afforded Norman Rockwell and are taking this frustration out on the artists of Rockwell's time who WERE and are still respected.

I have nothing in particular against the NY moderns you single out - I think they were very successful in revitalizing the idea of the painting as a massive spectacle. But at the same time, I don't really get much of a buzz off them either. But Picasso?

I agree that the fame heaped on Picasso was more than he deserved. But it was more than anyone deserved! Picasso himself knew it.

In his own words: "Since the advent of Cubism, I have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied the critics with all the ridiculous ideas that passed through my head. The less they understood me, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with these farces, I became celebrated and rich. When I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist, not in the grand meaning of the word. Titian, Rembrandt and Goya were great painters. I am only a public clown, a mountebank."

He was obviously being a bit facetious with that remark. But I point this quote out only to dull any maligning of Picasso's ability on the grounds that it does not match the praise given it.

Talmadge Moose
11-19-1999, 12:02 AM
when you call, ask them about the possibility of buying at the door. I understand you can, but they can give you an idea of your chances. Also, weekdays will be better than weekends. I do hope you get to see the exhibit. I think you will be rewarded for your efforts. You will at least have an entirely different view of Rockwell's work. Frankly, I was disappointed when I saw a Rockwell for the first time. I was an art student at Richmond at the time. The picture was of the baker and his decorated cakes. At that time I thought Rockwell painted slick, like the photo-realists do no. But the paint was rather piled on, and much more roughly painted that any reporduction has suggested. Good luck in viewing the exhibit.

Talmadge Moose
11-19-1999, 12:22 AM
to S Mckee,
Rockwell was not that far off in his subject matter. The degenerate always exists, in any society. But you didn't see Rubens depicting that. He stuck to mythology and religion, neither of which depicted his times. Rockwell built much of his later art on current culture. If you had been born during the depression, and grew up during World War II, yes, the fifties were a glorious time. We had been through Hell, and photographs and some artists did a great job depicting those times. Rockwell chose to see life in a more positive way. There is nothing wrong with looking on the brighter side of things, and not dwelling on or letting your mind live in the sewer. There are plenty of artists out there doing that for you. Look to them for sustenance if that is what you wish to feed on. We, of the fifties, had seen enough of man's inhumanity to man, and we deserved to look on the brighter side of life. Yes, it was real, and I find most critics of Rockwell's subject matter did not really live through those times. There is enough art for everyone, and you can easily choose your heros from among them. Just be careful about criticising those who choose to see life in a more positive way. I look at it all, and I chose from that that I see. And I do not choose to defend such emptiness as is evident in artists such as Rothko, or Jackson Pollack, or Robert Motherwell, or just about everything Picasso did. By the way, I think Picasso is probably the most overrated artist who ever lived. Art critics and writers have made him into a God. He does not deserve that title. He did a very few things I can like, but mostly, I think he copied himself until it became boring. Same with Rothko and Pollack. This is sure to get strong recation from Modern Art defenders, but I have looked at that stuff for 50 years, have seen most of the originals, and it just leaves me cold. Nothing wrong with liking stuff that looks good, with pleasing subject matter, and a touch of humor. But Rockwell was much deeper than that, if you take the time to look.

11-19-1999, 10:16 PM
Does everybody knoes where I can find some Norman Rockwell work on the web? Im completely out of the subject you are discussing... Thank you.

11-20-1999, 04:25 AM
Here are just a few of the Rockwell sites I found, they should give you an idea of the artist we are discussing:



Hope these help to introduce you.

Billie Dawn

[This message has been edited by BillieD (edited 11-20-99).]

11-20-1999, 09:54 AM
other sites you can see Rockwells work;




11-29-1999, 10:32 AM
Did anyone see the American Masters special about Norman Rockwell over the weekend?

When I posted my first message in this thread I only knew that he was known for his illustrations for the Sat. Evening Post, but was not too familiar with the circumstances that he lived in to produce them.
I defended him from being dismissed because he was an 'illustrator'.

Well guess what? He wasn't a magazine hack. He maintained his own studio and painted on large canvas, and did not consider himself an illustrator but a fine artist. He would paint what HE wanted to paint, and sometimes the Post would buy a piece for their cover. There was even one segment where they talked about his anxiety over whether or not a painting had been bought... apparently he was on pins and needles until he actually had check in hand for a piece. Sound familiar?

He was highly sought after in his time for his ability to illustrate for ads. He had a talent for expressing a message in a image. His images tell a story, and that talent was what made him successful.

As far as draftsmanship, I found it thouroughly amusing that he took his own black and white photos to use in his studio for his paintings, and used a projector to trace some parts of images. He also had a flock of live models, many of which were just townspeople, many of which he used time and time again.

As far as his early work being used as political propaganda (such as the Four Freedoms), the fact is that series came from his heart and was inspired by a speech by FDR. He painted it from his own inspiration, it wasn't that someone came to him and asked him to paint that subject. I think it is safe to say that except for the obvious commissioned advertisements, Norman Rockwell choose his own themes and subjects.

He just happened to be successful during his own time and I think in the big picture he can be thought of as a comtemporary artist of his own era. He could be looked to as an example of how an artist can not only paint what moves him but also be financially successful at the same time.

He used the tools and resources available to him at the time to create paintings that resonated with the American people. Yes it was a different era in the forties and fifties. America had high hopes and big dreams. Mr. Rockwell's work, in his own words, is about the way he would have liked the world to be. He wasn't trying to depict reality.

As far the historical aspect, his images reflect the nations' ideals and hopes during this century, rather than the reality.
I for one, am glad he was able to persue his gift rather having to work 'in reality' as a coal miner or factory laborer. His work is an anthology of America's hopes and dreams of this century, and are a wonderful addition to our national treasure. I am looking forward to seeing his work in person in Atlanta next month. I am sure I will have some comments after being able to examine them with my own eyes.
If anyone wants to dismiss Rockwell simply because of his subject matter, then it is their own loss.

Christina Manwell
12-03-1999, 06:35 AM
My 11 year old daughter just did a report on Norman Rockwell. I have tried to expose her to many different styles of Art, and she really seems to appreciate them all. I could see genuine joy on her face as she studied the pictures in the books, and told me why she liked certain ones. The details and stories he tells with his art will be enjoyed by people of all ages for many generations to come. I am no expert, but his art touched my daughters heart and brought a sence of happiness to her soul. Isn't that what Art is? Whether it is music, drama, literature or visual, isn't art something that touches us in some way? Maybe it brings a tear to our eye, a smile to our face, or just makes us wonder...

Diana Lee
12-17-1999, 03:36 PM
I must say I am impressed with the way you all have handled your opinions. There were some major agressive stands made but no blood drawn. I love that we all have different opinions. Sandee, you go girl! And I love that we can express and accept them like adults (at least on this forum). Rockwell has always been one of my heroes, but then I, too, have been refered to as an illustrator. Poor NC Wyeth was so proud of his children, but felt bad because he was never an artist. He felt he was "just" an illustrator. (That is for to laugh!)

12-17-1999, 05:21 PM
Much, if not most, of the art in the past has been pure illustration of some sort. The artists illustrated mythology, or the Bible, or heroic acts of important people, etc. It is just in our recent past, all in this century ending, I think, that it has been considered wrong to "illustrate" anthing. But that was really an attempt to get rid of subject matter entirely. And boy, when you get rid of subject matter, you have very little left to enrich the human spirit. Much of our present day illustration cannot be considered art, but neither can much of the pictures made in the past. Everything produced is not art. If everything is art, then nothing is art, the whole concept loses all meaning. But today we are beginning to recognise that some of our illustrators were real artists. And it is about time that Norman Rockwell gets his recognition. I have been a defender and admirer of Norman Rockwell since I became aware of his work some 50 years ago. And he was difficult to defend in art school in the 1950's. This was the time when the war against Rockwell really began. We were supposed to gain our visual sustenance from such works as those by Mondrain. That stuff is pure decoration. It is like hanging floor covering on the wall and framing it. Anyhow, hooray for Norman Rockwell. Long may his art endure, and I think it will surely endure. Let us all enjoy the work. Go see his original work when possible. Even if you have your doubts from the reproductions you usually see, seeing his originals will convince you that he was indeed an artist.


12-18-1999, 04:33 PM
Well I just found out that Rockwell's exhibit is sold out completely on the only days I can be in Atlanta next week.
Next year we may be out west and the exhibit will be in San Diego then so maybe, just maybe we can get to see it then. I encourage anyone who can see it to make sure you do.

It has 70 original oils and all 322 of his Post covers. What a treat to be able to see it in person.
So where does Mr. Rockwell stand in the world of Art? How about the fact that his show is so popular that you have to get tickets in advance and when you do it's SOLD OUT? Hey it's sold out and they didn't have to create a controversy to get the attention. Any artist OR illustrator that can have that much popularity has to be accounted in the "Art World" as master of his craft.

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Everything is beautiful...in it's own way.

[This message has been edited by Sandee (edited 12-18-99).]

12-18-1999, 10:50 PM
BRIGHTON Rockwell rocks ! His work is beautiful regardless of why it was created.
I have gone to The Rockwell museum in Ma twice, never fail to be moved, which to me is the definitive objective of art. happy holidays all !!!!!

anita Stewart
12-19-1999, 12:45 AM
Norman Rockwell..
I appreciate the information about him painting so many pieces that are more vibrant than his reproductions for magazines and poster art.This definetly gives a new perspective on his work..
yes, I do appreciate the fact that he has touched so many viewers with the subjects he has chosen and the inspiring ways he portrayed them.
but, personally I prefer works such as Salvador Dahli and David Hockney..I enjoy work that goes farther past the reality of the camera and stretches your imagination more..
I think many are attracted to Rockwell's work because it mirrored everyday life with a twist..Kind of like the way the public leans toward realistic portraits just because they can relate to them so easily and readily..I think that's just the way it is..
I wonder how many of the viwing public know the works of Jackson Pollack or Paul Klee ... Would they appreciate how strongly Pollack expressed his emotions through color and texture ? or do they say" That's just a bunch of paint thrown on a canvas" Or Would they say about Klee's work," that looks like some little kid did that"..

12-19-1999, 09:31 AM
I was visiting the Modern Museum of Art in New York many years ago, and I saw the perfect Norman Rockwell moment. Seated before a wall-sized Jackson Pollock painting was a young girl (art student) and her parents. She was really slinging the B.S. about what was in the painting. The parents were bewildered, to say the least, and I am sure were never convinced. I think the student just saw too much in those drips hung on the wall. I once photographed the seat of a stool that had been used to reach a little higher while painting our house. I would slip this slide into my art history lessons, and no one ever caught the fact that this was pure accident. How much of Pollock's work was pure accident? He was a heavy drinker. Was he sober when he painted? We don't really know. I cannot see where Jackson Pollock ever benefited from his study under Thoman Hart Benton. But you go ahead and lap up your Pollocks. I will get my kicks from the likes of Rockwell. I can paint both ways, and I know which is more rewarding to produce. How proud can you be to produce something that sure looks like either an accident or a catastrophe?

01-14-2000, 08:11 AM
HERE HERE! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
As a matter of fact, to must folks, Jackson Pollack's work <em>does</em> just look like a bunch of paint drippings. :P

Thanks for the interesting ancedote Talmadge http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Sandee's Loft (http://www.artistnation.com/members/lofts/sandee)
Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by Sandee (edited January 14, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Sandee (edited January 14, 2000).]

01-14-2000, 04:31 PM
jackson pollack pissed on his canvases. proving that an artist is his own severest critic. although i think jp was a little easy on himself

01-14-2000, 07:57 PM
This thread is about a mile long now - I am officially closing it. :-)

Feel free to create a "part 2" and continue the deliberations... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif