|Birth Day:||February 3, 1894|
|Death Date:||Nov 8, 1978 (age 84)|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
As per our current Database, Norman Rockwell died on Nov 8, 1978 (age 84).
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He was asked at age 18 to illustrate Carl H. Claudy's work, "Tell Me Why: Stories about Mother Nature." Early in his career, he also began creating cover art for Boys' Life, the Boy Scout publication. His first Boys' Life cover, "Scouts at Ship's Wheel," was published on the September 1913 edition.
Norman Rockwell was born on February 3, 1894, in New York City, to Jarvis Waring Rockwell and Anne Mary "Nancy" Rockwell, born Hill. His earliest American ancestor was John Rockwell (1588–1662), from Somerset, England, who immigrated to colonial North America, probably in 1635, aboard the ship Hopewell and became one of the first settlers of Windsor, Connecticut. He had one brother, Jarvis Waring Rockwell, Jr., older by a year and a half. Jarvis Waring, Sr., was the manager of the New York office of a Philadelphia textile firm, George Wood, Sons & Company, where he spent his entire career.
Rockwell's family moved to New Rochelle, New York, when Norman was 21 years old. They shared a studio with the cartoonist Clyde Forsythe, who worked for The Saturday Evening Post. With Forsythe's help, Rockwell submitted his first successful cover painting to the Post in 1916, Mother's Day Off (published on May 20). He followed that success with Circus Barker and Strongman (published on June 3), Gramps at the Plate (August 5), Redhead Loves Hatty Perkins (September 16), People in a Theatre Balcony (October 14), and Man Playing Santa (December 9). Rockwell was published eight times on the Post cover within the first year. Ultimately, Rockwell published 323 original covers for The Saturday Evening Post over 47 years. His Sharp Harmony appeared on the cover of the issue dated September 26, 1936; it depicts a barber and three clients, enjoying an a cappella song. The image was adopted by SPEBSQSA in its promotion of the art.
When Rockwell's tenure began with The Saturday Evening Post in 1916, he left his salaried position at Boys' Life, but continued to include scouts in Post cover images and the monthly magazine of the American Red Cross. He resumed work with the Boy Scouts of America in 1926 with production of his first of fifty-one original illustrations for the official Boy Scouts of America annual calendar, which still may be seen in the Norman Rockwell Art Gallery at the National Scouting Museum in the city of Cimarron in New Mexico.
Rockwell married his first wife, Irene O'Connor, in 1916. Irene was Rockwell's model in Mother Tucking Children into Bed, published on the cover of The Literary Digest on January 19, 1921. The couple divorced in 1930.
Depressed, he moved briefly to Alhambra, California as a guest of his old friend Clyde Forsythe. There he painted some of his best-known paintings including The Doctor and the Doll. While there he met and married schoolteacher Mary Barstow in 1930. The couple returned to New York shortly after their marriage. They had three children: Jarvis Waring, Thomas Rhodes, and Peter Barstow. The family lived at 24 Lord Kitchener Road in the Bonnie Crest neighborhood of New Rochelle, New York.
Rockwell and his wife were not regular church attendees, although they were members of St. John's Wilmot Church, an Episcopal church near their home, where their sons were baptized. Rockwell moved to Arlington, Vermont, in 1939 where his work began to reflect small-town life. He would later be joined by his good friend, John Carlton Atherton.
In 1943, during World War II, Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms series, which was completed in seven months and resulted in him losing fifteen pounds. The series was inspired by a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, wherein Roosevelt described and articulated Four Freedoms for universal rights. Rockwell then painted Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship and Freedom from Fear.
The paintings were published in 1943 by The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell used the Pennell shipbuilding family from Brunswick, Maine as models for two of the paintings, Freedom from Want and A Thankful Mother, and would combine models from photographs and his own vision to create his idealistic paintings. The United States Department of the Treasury later promoted war bonds by exhibiting the originals in sixteen cities. Rockwell considered Freedom of Speech to be the best of the four.
During the late 1940s, Norman Rockwell spent the winter months as artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design. Students occasionally were models for his Saturday Evening Post covers. In 1949, Rockwell donated an original Post cover, April Fool, to be raffled off in a library fund raiser.
In 1953, the Rockwell family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so that his wife could be treated at the Austen Riggs Center, a psychiatric hospital at 25 Main Street, close to where Rockwell set up his studio. Rockwell also received psychiatric treatment, seeing the analyst Erik Erikson, who was on staff at Riggs. Erikson is said to have told the artist that he painted his happiness, but did not live it. In 1959, Mary died unexpectedly of a heart attack.
In 1959, after his wife Mary died suddenly from a heart attack, Rockwell took time off from his work to grieve. It was during that break that he and his son Thomas produced Rockwell's autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, which was published in 1960. The Post printed excerpts from this book in eight consecutive issues, the first containing Rockwell's famous Triple Self-Portrait.
Rockwell married his third wife, retired Milton Academy English teacher, Mary Leete "Mollie" Punderson (1896-1985), on October 25, 1961. His Stockbridge studio was located on the second floor of a row of buildings. Directly underneath Rockwell's studio was, for a time in 1966, the Back Room Rest, better known as the famous "Alice's Restaurant." During his time in Stockbridge, chief of police William Obanhein was a frequent model for Rockwell's paintings.
From 1961 until his death, Rockwell was a member of the Monday Evening Club, a men's literary group based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. At his funeral, five members of the club served as pallbearers, along with Jarvis Rockwell.
Rockwell's last painting for the Post was published in 1963, marking the end of a publishing relationship that had included 321 cover paintings. He spent the next 10 years painting for Look magazine, where his work depicted his interests in civil rights, poverty, and space exploration.
In 1966, Rockwell was invited to Hollywood to paint portraits of the stars of the film Stagecoach, and also found himself appearing as an extra in the film, playing a "mangy old gambler".
In 1968, Rockwell was commissioned to do an album cover portrait of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper for their record, The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.
In 1969, as a tribute to Rockwell's 75th anniversary of his birth, officials of Brown & Bigelow and the Boy Scouts of America asked Rockwell to pose in Beyond the Easel, the calendar illustration that year.
In 1969 the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation commissioned Rockwell to paint the Glen Canyon Dam.
For "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country", Rockwell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1977 by President Gerald Ford. Rockwell's son, Jarvis, accepted the award.
Rockwell died on November 8, 1978, of emphysema at age 84 in his Stockbridge, Massachusetts home. First Lady Rosalynn Carter attended his funeral.
Rockwell's work was exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2001. Rockwell's Breaking Home Ties sold for $15.4 million at a 2006 Sotheby's auction. A 12-city U.S. tour of Rockwell's works took place in 2008. In 2008, Rockwell was named the official state artist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The 2013 sale of Saying Grace for $46 million (including buyer's premium) established a new record price for Rockwell. Rockwell's work was exhibited at the Reading Public Museum and the Church History Museum in 2013–2014.
Currently, Norman Rockwell is 127 years, 4 months and 22 days old. Norman Rockwell will celebrate 128th birthday on a Thursday 3rd of February 2022.
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