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theartsdesk in Fort Lauderdale: Norman Rockwell, the American Friend | reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk in Fort Lauderdale: Norman Rockwell, the American Friend

theartsdesk in Fort Lauderdale: Norman Rockwell, the American Friend

Homage to a kitsch American chronicler

Norman Rockwell: 'The Problem We All Live With'All images courtesy of the Norman Rockwell Family Agency © 2010 The Norman Rockwell Family Entities
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) may be the great idealiser of American smalltown life, but many of his paintings took their cues from Dickens, and they thus have an English tang. None more so than Merrie Christmas (pictured below), which Rockwell painted for the cover of 7 December 1929 edition of the Saturday Evening Post: Tony Weller, the philosophising coachman father of Mr Pickwick’s manservant Sam, is shown cracking his whip with one hand and doffing his holly-spiked hat with the other.
Rockwell's creative vision is just shallow and jug-stupid enough to meet the age’s groundswell of unchecked commercialism on its own terms.

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