The most comprehensive traveling retrospective to date of Norman Rockwell's long career, we caught up with American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell during its stay at the Detroit Institute of Arts (on view March 8-May 31, 2009). The exhibition consists of some 44 paintings, and 323 original Saturday Evening Post covers (also oil paintings) spanning Rockwell's 47-year association with that magazine.
Taken as a whole, it's evident that dismissing Norman Rockwell as "merely" an illustrator is foolish. He captured life in the United States through bad times (the Great Depression and World War II) and good (the idyllic 50s), and, with the onset of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, uncomfortable and unjust. He did this with an unsparing, albeit often-humorous eye and perfect technical skills. Please enjoy this sampling of his work.