Skip to comments.Norman Rockwell’s Art, Once Sniffed At, Is Becoming Prized
Posted on 05/23/2014 5:13:41 PM PDT by windcliff
Rockwells greatest sin as an artist is simple: His is an art of unending cliché.
In that Washington Post criticism of a 2010 exhibition of Norman Rockwell paintings at the Smithsonian, Blake Gopnik joined a long line of prominent critics attacking Rockwell, the American artist and illustrator who depicted life in mid-20th-century America and died in 1978.
Norman Rockwell was demonized by a generation of critics who not only saw him as an enemy of modern art, but of all art, said Deborah Solomon, whose biography of Rockwell, American Mirror, was published last year. He was seen as a lowly calendar artist whose work was unrelated to the lofty ambitions of art, she said, or, as she put it in her book, a cornball and a square. The critical dismissal was obviously a source of great pain throughout his life, Ms. Solomon added.
But Rockwell is now undergoing a major critical and financial reappraisal. This week, the major auction houses built their spring sales of American art around two Rockwell paintings: After the Prom, at Sothebys, and The Rookie, at Christies. After the Prom sold for $9.1 million on Wednesday; The Rookie for $22.5 million on Thursday.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
It documents a country which was lost long ago.
My personal favorite Rockwell painting was his foray into the political ideological realm with “Russian Schoolroom”.
That one painting speaks volumes.
Art critics are the snobbiest of snobs.
I always thought that he was wonderful.
My brother has a Rockwell. A hand drawn Rockwell. By Rockwell.
I saw the Rockwell Exhibition last year at WALMART’S Crystal Bridges museum. Well worth the trip!
Rosie the Riveter is on permanent display there.
I remember back in 1971, there was South African artist who did pretty calender art pictures. The critics hated his work and he said it hurt his feelings so bad he “cried every time he went to the bank”.
Years ago, there were thousands of paintings done for pulp magazine covers back in the 1930s through 1970. No one wanted the paintings so they were burned in mass furnaces in the printing houses.
Today if you have an original painting from an old magazine cover it is worth not less than $40,000.
Which, of course, is exactly why the critics hated his work.
Now that the country they hated is disappearing, they can look at that work with less contemptuous eyes. A memorial of the past is always easier to endure than a living reality.
I guess I’m a great art critic. I thought Rockwell’s paintings were fine art ever since I first saw them on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post.
Regardless of this, I've always had an affinity for Rockwell's style and his amazing attention to detail in his works.
"Shuffleton's Barbershop" is a great example of this. If it had simply been a painting of the interior of the building it would have been a great illustration on its own. But the window frame and pane in the foreground -- complete with a crack in the lower right corner -- really bring it to life.
I never understood the fascination with Warhol and the pap he produced, I’ take Rockwell any day over the so called artists like Warhol.
Blake Gopnik joined a long line of prominent critics attacking Rockwell, the American artist and illustrator who depicted life in mid-20th-century America and died in 1978.
Major FAIL. Rockwell transmitted his perceptions to the canvas with a clarity that was almost unrivaled in Art.
Don’t bother looking at the amateur scrubbing of Daisy Rockwell, Norman’s Grand daughter is making a name for herself by painting terrorists. Daisy say’s she has a ‘sympathy’ for them. More style than substance with this one.
CBS News did a feature on Rockwell’s “The Rookie” last night http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-norman-rockwell-drafted-his-rookie/
His resurgence may indicate that even in the art world, people are ready to reverse course.
I’ve always liked that painting. I don’t get the “illustrator” criticism, especially when it’s being put forward by a leftist critic. They accept all methods including the most banal and talentless. It seems arbitrary to reject him on that basis. Of course, in their minds you’re less of a free spirit, or something, when your art is for hire. The criticism is ideological — they’re hung up on capitalism as usual — and in my opinion can be dismissed.
Heck, it was the main reason my parents, (and grandparents for that matter) subscribed to The Saturday Evening Post for decades..
I liked it when I was a kid, I like it even more now.
Same with movies... It is incredibly rare when I like something the critics love.... Of course these days, it is rare that they make a movie that I like at all.
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