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Norman Rockwell

Pictures for the American People

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Freedom From Want, Norman Rockwell

Freedom From Want, by Norman Rockwell

Photo Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration

The photo to the right is Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want. This was one of a series of four Norman Rockwell paintings, The Four Freedoms, inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1941 State of the Union Address.

Go to The Four Freedoms

The Phoenix Art Museum is the fifth stop on the tour of an incredibly popular exhibition of the art of Norman Rockwell. Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People, organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, will be the featured exhibit at the Museum through May 6, 2001.  After that it will travel back to Massachusetts and then finally to New York's Guggenheim Museum. The exhibit features more than 70 of Rockwell's oil paintings and all 322 of his Saturday Evening Post covers.

Norman Rockwell said, "I showed the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed."

Here is a brief timeline of Norman Rockwell's life and career:

  • Born in New York City, 1894.
  • In 1910 enrolled in the Art Students' League.
  • Art director of Boys' Life Magazine.
  • At 21 he moved to New Rochelle, N.Y.
  • At age 22 he published his first Saturday Evening Post cover.
  • Married Irene O'Conner. They divorced in 1929.
  • In 1930 he married Mary Barstow, a schoolteacher. They had three sons: Jarvis, Thomas and Peter.  In 1939 the family moved to Arlington, Vermont.
  • In 1943 Rockwell painted his famous Four Freedoms, one of which, Freedom From Want, is pictured above.
  • Also in 1943 Rockwell's Arlington studio burned to the ground.
  • In 1953 the Rockwell family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
  • In 1959 his wife, Mary, died.
  • In 1961 Rockwell remarries one more time, to Molly Punderson.
  • In the 1960s Rockwell went to work for Look Magazine.
  • In the 1960s Rockwell's work began reflecting his deep concern for civil rights.
  • In 1977 Norman Rockwell received the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • In 1978 Rockwell died peacefully, at his home. he was 84.

The exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum is well worth the trip and the twelve dollars (less for seniors and children) for the ticket. The exhibit will be in Phoenix from January 27 through May 6, 2001. A leisurely pace through the exhibit will take over one hour--and then shopping in the Museum store will take another half an hour! The Museum has wonderful audio tour devices that are comfortable and easy to use at any pace. There is no extra charge for the audio tour.

The Phoenix Art Museum is located on the northeast corner of McDowell Road & Central Avenue. Parking is free.

See the four paintings that comprise Rockwell's famous Four Freedoms.

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