The Alienation of Norman Rockwell


“[Rockwell’s world] is a place of safety and security, and it’s a place where there can be problems but where problems have solutions and the solutions are often provided by the people who live next door to you; if not the girl next door, then maybe the old man next door, and a doctor will take time to hear you out and will not ask you for paperwork, and will not ask you who is paying your health insurance. It’s a world where Americans will stop and pause and listen to one another and basically take care of one another. It’s a very caring place.

“I see a lot of him in the paintings. I know a lot of people keep saying to me, oh, his life was so different from his art, but I see some of his alienation in the art. If we talk about the Thanksgiving picture, for instance, ‘Freedom from Want.’ It’s interesting to me that no one in that painting is looking at anyone else. … It’s toasty warm but it also, I think, raises questions about why none of the figures are connected to one another …”

-Deborah Solomon, author of American Mirror, on New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth talking about the life of Norman Rockwell. Read more from our podcast picks.

(h/t @contextual_life)


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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