Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was an American artist best known for producing the social commentary cover art on the Saturday Evening Post magazine for approximately 50 years, and later with Look magazine. His accessible style expressed his personal insights and ideas about the times in which he lived through vivid warmth and poignancy, and sometimes with wry, good-natured humor.
He is also widely esteemed for his 1943 Four Freedoms paintings. According to nrm.org: “The works toured the United States in an exhibition that was jointly sponsored by the Post and the U.S. Treasury Department and, through the sale of war bonds, raised more than $130 million for the war effort.”
The artist made Stockbridge his home, along with his family, in the later years of his life.
“Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I’ve always called myself an illustrator. I’m not sure what the difference is. All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life.” — Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell Museum: The Home for American Illustration
The Norman Rockwell Museum in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts has a wide range of exhibits, excellent tour guides, an interactive media center, and a fantastic display on the lower floor that conveys the history of the United States as depicted through Life magazine covers that Rockwell illustrated.
You can also visit his studio and see the way he set it up to get the best lighting, space for placing models, and books he consulted.
And you can take care of all of your Christmas shopping in their gift shop. Even for your dog.
Stockbridge remains a charming small town. We also enjoyed visiting the Red Lion, the 1862 Seasons on Main, and the Mission House, just down the road. The population of Stockbridge is approximately 2,000 residents, which is similar to the number there during Norman Rockwell’s time.
The Norman Rockwell Museum is the sixth stop on Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 2.