12 December 2010

A Norman Kind of Christmas


There are small things in life that bring you back to a place and time so vivid in your mind you'd swear you were living in the moment again. Norman Rockwell does that for me. Growing up in New England, I can remember seeing Rockwell's iconic illustrations on Christmas cards, in country stores, in magazines, as framed posters in restaurants, on old covers of The Saturday Evening Post, just about everywhere really. I have several favorites, like Marbles, Hobo Stealing Pie and The Runaway (shown left to right above). But it's the Christmas images that I enjoy most, for they truly bring me back to my childhood.

His career was long and successful, too long to acknowledge here, so you can read a thorough write-up here if you wish. But here are a few highlights; Although born and raised in New York. Rockwell moved to New England and spent time in Vermont before moving to Massachusetts in 1953, living and working in Stockbridge until his death in 1978. At the tender age of 22, he painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post and during his more than 50-year career with the Post, Rockwell contributed over 300 paintings.

So it's that time of year and certainly goes without saying, that during the holiday season of yesteryear, Norman Rockwell’s anxiously awaited illustrations brought good cheer to millions of Americans who encountered his images on the covers and pages of their favorite magazines, and on holiday cards that brought the spirit of the holidays home. Happy Holidays everyone!

Images from The Saturday Evening Post.

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