Monday, March 5, 2012

Opportunity of a Lifetime!

MAJOR NEWS- Our nationally recognized collection of Norman Rockwell's art, established in 1976 and displaying more than 2,500 of his published works is looking for a new home. Currently located at the Norman Rockwell Museum of VT in Rutland. We have decided that after 39+ years, the time has come for our family to retire. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a very rare collection of his work. Contact if interested.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mural returned...BUT not home!

This is WRONG! I have to pose a couple of questions...1- It takes 23 years for renovations? 2- We were threatened with a law suit? 3- if Ayres was so specific with the mural hanging in the state house outside the cafeteria, and was to be returned to his estate in the event if was not hung in such spot...then why it is ...hanging in a building ACROSS THE STREET?

Read Mural article here

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2nd Saturday Evening Post cover- 6/13/1913

Circus Strong Man

Norman Rockwells second Saturday Evening Post cover appeared just 2 weeks after his first. He had sold both the first and second cover to the Post for $75.00 each, which was a huge amount of money in that time. Before working with The Saturday Evening Post, Rockwells monthly wages as "art director" and illustrator for Boys' Life magazine was $50.00 per month. In this picture Norman Rockwell manages to make the view feel as though they are part of the "scene", as if they were a participant, and not merely an observer.

Eugene Sandow, the "Strong Man", was a German turn of the century, physical culturist who appeared at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Billy Paine, the boy who poses for Sandow, was one of Rockwell's favorites. Billy Paine died at age 13 from doing a stunt in a second story window. Norman Rockwell used him in 15 Post covers and said "He was the best kid model I ever used".

The use of live models was difficult, especially in children and animals. Holding a pose was difficult enough, but trying to keep an expression was near impossible. Norman Rockwell sometimes resorted to giving feline models a smell of ether to create the appearence of an enduring lethargy.

May 20, 1916- Rockwells First Saturday Evening Post Cover

"The Baby Carriage"

Norman Rockwell's first Saturday Evening Post cover was different from that of other Post artists. For example, Rockwell used real people as models, he did not just concoct a "situation". Rockwell took much of what he learned from his beloved teacher George Bridgman from the Art Students League. Bridgman wrote a book titled "The Human Machine" which was an illustrated treatise on the musles and motions of the body. Norman Rockwell poured over this book in order to understand the the motor cause and effect. You can notice in this cover that the figures move naturally. The baby-sitter pushes against the carriage with proper displacement. All the boys "fit" into the composition without appearing to be "squeezed" in, and Rockwell is pictorially aware of the post requirements of its logo, parallel bars and bottom cover lines.

The Post was done in duotone, only in two colors, red and black until 1926, which is when Rockwell painted the first color cover. Duotone challenged the artists to capture the magazine buyers eye with red to black, and then lead the eye through graduations of emotion and tone, which was in fact restricted by using just the two colors. In this cover the overstating of facial expressions display a sense of humor based on convincing emotions which is more than American magazines has yet witnessed.

Norman Rockwell Goes Hollywood

Norman Rockwell Goes Hollywood

In 1966 Norman Rockwell made his only appearance as an actor in a Hollywood movie. Mr. Rockwell played poker player “Busted Flush” in the 1966 remake of John Ford’s classic hit Stagecoach. This print released by 20th Century Fox in the same year is a representation of the Movie Art Poster Norman Rockwell did for the same studio. This was his sixth promotional advertising done for Hollywood movies and he felt his most ambitious. Rockwell painted twenty oil portraits, one preliminary and one final, of each of the movies ten stars, as well as this image of the stagecoach on its perilous journey to Cheyenne. The poster for Stagecoach challenged Rockwell with its panoramic scene of galloping horses and rugged mountains. In a letter that accompanied a preliminary drawing sent to 20th Century Fox in 1965, Rockwell wrote, "It was a tough job for me because I am not an expert on horses. " Rockwell's picture file shows his favorite reference sources that assisted him in the anatomy of horses as well as tear sheets of the Rockies - so unlike the familiar Green Mountains in Vermont or Berkshire hills in Massachusetts.Rockwell had an affinity for the movie industry throughout most of his career. In an interview with Westchester Country Fair in 1928, Rockwell said, "..If I were not an artist I'd like to be a surgeon or a movie director, the latter, particularly. There is a chance to produce beautiful and artistic scenes that the public enjoy and that are as lasting as a beautiful picture." It is indeed easy to see that Norman Rockwell enjoyed his time working on this project and embraced it enthusiastically.

Norman Rockwell and "The Problem We All Live With"

One of the most prolific images in our opinion that Norman Rockwell did was the image titled "The Problem We All Live With". Sure, at first glance it appears as if the total meaning is just the representation of Ruby Bridges. There is more...When you look at the image, the tomato thrown against the wall is in the form of an eagle, representing the Government. When it falls to the ground it is in the form of a snail, saying that the Government moves slowly. The crack in the wall represents the split between the government and the people. The little girl is stepping off on her left foot, the Marshall's are stepping off on their right as to say the government is out of step with the times. The Marshall's are closed fisted to represent close minded ness. Last but not least, Norman Rockwell cut off the Marshall's heads to portray the fact that the government functions with no brains.
There is some "brain gym" to chew on.
Norman Rockwell, just an illustrator?? I think not.

Norman Rockwell and The Four Freedoms

The History Behind Norman Rockwell and the Four Freedoms

On January 6th, 1941, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed his State of the Union Address to Congress, he described his vision for a better way of life through what he considered the four essential human freedoms: Freedom to Worship, Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want and Freedom of Speech.
In the future days which we seek to make secure, we lookforward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.The first is freedom of speech and expression-- everywhere in the world.The second is freedom of every person to worship God in hisown way -- everywhere in the world.The third is freedom from want, which, translated into worldterms, means economic understandings which will secure toevery nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-- everywhere in the world.The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated intoworld terms, means a world-wide reduction of armamentsto such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nationwill be in a position to commit an act of physical aggressionagainst any neighbor -- anywhere in the world.That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definitebasis for a kind of world attainable in our own time andgeneration. That kind of world is the very antithesis ofthe so-called "new order" of tyranny which the dictatorsseek to create with the crash of a bomb.- Franklin Delano Roosevelt,excerpted from the Annual Message to the Congress,January 6, 1941
Almost two years later, with the United States in the throes of World War II, Norman Rockwell painted a series of paintings called the Four Freedoms in an effort to reinforce their importance, while at the same time, simplifying their complexity. After four months, when he was finished, the United States government used them quite successfully to enhance family values, unity, and patriotism, at a time when it was most needed.