Norman Rockwell - Illustrator, Family and Childhood

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Norman Rockwell's Personal Details

Norman Rockwell was a talented American painter and illustrator

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 3, 1894
Died onNovember 8, 1978
NationalityAmerican
FamousIllustrator, Painters, Artists & Painters, Artists
City/StateNew Yorkers
Known asNorman Perceval Rockwell
Childrens Thomas Rockwell
Universities
  • National Academy of Design
  • Art Students League of New York
Birth PlaceNew York City
Diseases DisabilitiesDepression
GenderMale
FatherJarvis Waring Rockwell
MotherAnne Mary
Sun SignAquarius
Born inNew York City
Famous asPainter & Illustrator
Died at Age84

// Famous Painters

Norman Rockwell's photo

Who is Norman Rockwell?

Norman Perceval Rockwell was an American artist—a painter and an illustrator. His work was an artistic depiction of the American culture and spirit of its people - he was inspired by the ideas of civil rights, poverty, national events, international events and space exploration. Most of his career was spent illustrating for the ‘Saturday Evening Post’, a collaboration that continued for around 47 years and resulted in 321 magnificent covers. Apart from the Post, Rockwell also worked for other publications like ‘Look’, ‘Peoples Popular Monthly’, ‘Life Magazine’, ‘The Literary Digest’, etc. He successfully created 4,000 illustrations and paintings in his career. Some of his iconic works include—1927 celebration of Charles Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic, Neil Armstrong's left foot on the surface of the moon after the successful moon landing, the ‘Four Freedom’ series during World War II, etc. Apart from illustrating for magazines and publications, Rockwell took classes at the Otis College of Art and Design, penned down his autobiography, ‘My Adventures as an Illustrator’, and did portraits of personalities like, President Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson, Jawaharlal Nehru, etc.

// Famous Illustrator

Childhood & Early Life

Norman Rockwell was born in New York City to Jarvis Waring Rockwell and Anne Mary Rockwell. His father was a manager at a Philadelphia textile firm and mother was a homemaker.

From very early Rockwell knew that he wanted to be an artist. At 14 he decided to take classes at The New School of Art and later, dropped out of school and enrolled at the National Academy of Design.

He later took admission at the Art Students League of New York and right after graduation, he started working as an illustrator for the ‘Boy’s Life’ magazine.

Career

In 1916, the young 22 year old Rockwell painted his first cover for the ‘Saturday Evening Post’. This was the beginning of a collaboration that worked out successfully for the next 47 years of his life.

Rockwell followed that success with ‘Circus Barker and Strongman’, ‘Gramps at the Plate’, ‘Redhead Loves Hatty Perkins’, ‘People in a Theatre Balcony’ and ‘Man Playing Santa.

His successful work published in the Post fetched him more work from renowned publications like, ‘The Literary Digest’, ‘The Country Gentleman’, ‘Leslie's Weekly’, ‘Judge’, ‘Peoples Popular Monthly’, ‘Life Magazine, etc.

During World War I, Rockwell wanted to get enlisted in the army but he was refused because he was underweight. He spent the next night hogging on fatty food, which got him enrolment as a military artist.

During WWII, Rockwell created the ‘Four Freedom’ series, which was inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the series he explained the four principles for universal rights: ‘Freedom from Want’, ‘Freedom of Speech’, ‘Freedom of Worship’ and ‘Freedom from Fear’.

Around the 1940s, he was approached by writer Elliot Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp, with an idea that the three of them should work together on a comic strip and Rockwell can do the illustrations.

King Features Syndicate had promised a $1000 per week deal to Rockwell but the project was called off as Rockwell was a known perfectionist and could not deliver the work at the pace that the project demanded.

During those years, he spent winter months as artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design and his students occasionally modeled for his Post covers. In 1949, he donated an original Post illustration to raise fund for college library.

In 1960, after the sudden death of his wife, Rockwell took time off from work and wrote down his autobiography, ‘My Adventures as an Illustrator’, with the help of his son. The Post published citations from his book.

He ended his association with the ‘Saturday Evening Post’ in 1963 and spent the rest of his career illustrating for the ‘Look’ magazine. His work at ‘Look’ was inspired by his ideas about civil rights, poverty and space exploration.

In 1968, Rockwell did the album cover portrait of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper for their record ‘The Live Adventure of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper’. He also did portraits of personalities like, President Kennedy, Johnson, Jawaharlal Nehru, etc.

Major Works

The most prominent work of Rockwell’s life is considered to be his forty seven year old association with the ‘Saturday Evening Post’, for which he made 321 illustrations and his most famous artistic works were published in it.

Awards & Achievements

Rockwell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1977.

Personal Life & Legacy

Rockwell was married to his first wife, Irene O’Connor from 1916-1930. She was his model in the illustration, ‘Mother Tucking Children into Bed (1921)’. Their marriage ended in divorce.

In 1930, he married Mary Barstow, a schoolteacher, and the couple had three sons together: Jarvis, Thomas and Peter. Mary died of a sudden heart attack in 1959, which left him very depressed for years.

He married for the third time to Mary Leete ‘Molly’ Punderson in 1961 and remained married to her until his death.

Rockwell died of emphysema at the age of 84 in 1978, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Trivia

His funeral was attended by the First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

He and his family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so that his second wife could be treated at the Austen Riggs Centre, a psychiatric hospital.

Rockwell took psychiatric treatment for many years, from the analyst Erik Erikson.

He produced over 4,000 original works in his lifetime.

A few years before dying, Rockwell founded a trust to make sure that his artistic legacy could prosper long after he was gone; this was the basis of foundation of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

// Famous Artists

Norman Rockwell awards

YearNameAward

Other

1939 - Silver Buffalo Award

Norman Rockwell biography timelines

  • // 3rd Feb 1894
    Norman Rockwell was born in New York City to Jarvis Waring Rockwell and Anne Mary Rockwell. His father was a manager at a Philadelphia textile firm and mother was a homemaker.
  • // 1916
    In 1916, the young 22 year old Rockwell painted his first cover for the ‘Saturday Evening Post’. This was the beginning of a collaboration that worked out successfully for the next 47 years of his life.
  • // 1916 To 1930
    Rockwell was married to his first wife, Irene O’Connor from 1916-1930. She was his model in the illustration, ‘Mother Tucking Children into Bed (1921)’. Their marriage ended in divorce.
  • // 1930 To 1959
    In 1930, he married Mary Barstow, a schoolteacher, and the couple had three sons together: Jarvis, Thomas and Peter. Mary died of a sudden heart attack in 1959, which left him very depressed for years.
  • // 1940
    Around the 1940s, he was approached by writer Elliot Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp, with an idea that the three of them should work together on a comic strip and Rockwell can do the illustrations.
  • // 1949
    During those years, he spent winter months as artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design and his students occasionally modeled for his Post covers. In 1949, he donated an original Post illustration to raise fund for college library.
  • // 1960
    In 1960, after the sudden death of his wife, Rockwell took time off from work and wrote down his autobiography, ‘My Adventures as an Illustrator’, with the help of his son. The Post published citations from his book.
  • // 1961
    He married for the third time to Mary Leete ‘Molly’ Punderson in 1961 and remained married to her until his death.
  • // 1963
    He ended his association with the ‘Saturday Evening Post’ in 1963 and spent the rest of his career illustrating for the ‘Look’ magazine. His work at ‘Look’ was inspired by his ideas about civil rights, poverty and space exploration.
  • // 1968
    In 1968, Rockwell did the album cover portrait of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper for their record ‘The Live Adventure of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper’. He also did portraits of personalities like, President Kennedy, Johnson, Jawaharlal Nehru, etc.
  • // 1977
    Rockwell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1977.
  • // 8th Nov 1978
    Rockwell died of emphysema at the age of 84 in 1978, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

// Famous Artists & Painters

Norman Rockwell's FAQ

  • What is Norman Rockwell birthday?

    Norman Rockwell was born at 1894-02-03

  • When was Norman Rockwell died?

    Norman Rockwell was died at 1978-11-08

  • Where was Norman Rockwell died?

    Norman Rockwell was died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

  • Which age was Norman Rockwell died?

    Norman Rockwell was died at age 84

  • Where is Norman Rockwell's birth place?

    Norman Rockwell was born in New York City

  • What is Norman Rockwell nationalities?

    Norman Rockwell's nationalities is American

  • Who is Norman Rockwell childrens?

    Norman Rockwell's childrens is Thomas Rockwell

  • What was Norman Rockwell universities?

    Norman Rockwell studied at National Academy of Design, Art Students League of New York

  • Who is Norman Rockwell's father?

    Norman Rockwell's father is Jarvis Waring Rockwell

  • Who is Norman Rockwell's mother?

    Norman Rockwell's mother is Anne Mary

  • What is Norman Rockwell's sun sign?

    Norman Rockwell is Aquarius

  • How famous is Norman Rockwell?

    Norman Rockwell is famouse as Painter & Illustrator