fri 03/07/2020

Norman Rockwell's America, Dulwich Picture Gallery | reviews, news & interviews

Norman Rockwell's America, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Norman Rockwell's America, Dulwich Picture Gallery

There's schmaltz, there's kitsch but there's also something wonderful about Norman

'Tender Years - Treating a Cold', 1957 is typical of Norman Rockwell's gentle humour All pictures: © National Museum of American Illustration, Newport; American Illustrators Gallery, NYC

Norman Rockwell’s America. What did it look like? At the height of Rockwell’s incredible fame as an illustrator, you might say it looked a lot like a movie still. Think of the films of Frank Capra, for instance: heartwarming scenes of family life shot through with poignancy as well as humour. This vision came with an instinctive appreciation that the most precious things we have in life are also the most transient and fragile. It’s a vision that clearly comes with a sense of empathy for the common man, an empathy that elevates his American everyman into the heroic figure of home and hearth.

Rockwell is in the business of celebrating America, not revealing its neurotic underbelly

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