This biography from the archives of AskART.com.
Renowned for magazine illustrations from the early 1910s through the 1970s, Norman Rockwell created a body of work documenting American life that is unequalled by any other illustrator. He painted real people, ones with tears, freckles, big ears, and these down-to-earth images meant that his viewers could relate to his subjects. Typical of his style were figures playfully frozen in action.
His illustrations on "Saturday Evening Post Covers" were a key part of his fame. He found many of his models among his neighbors, first in New Rochelle, New York, and later in Arlington, Vermont. He preferred the natural quality of everyday people rather than the posed look of professional models.
Because of his realistic style and illustration methods, he has been the object of much disdain among many critics espousing more avant approaches. But the consistent price his work brings in the marketplace and his ongoing appreciation by the American public show that it cannot be denied that he is a force in American art.
Amazingly the Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, one of the leading edge venues of non-objective art, sponsored a retrospective of his work. The exhibition had seventy oil paintings and 322 of his "Saturday Evening Post" covers and traveled to the High Museum, the Chicago Historical Society, the Corcoran Gallery, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Norman Rockwell Museum before arriving at the Guggenheim in November, 2001.