Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)




Tuesday, February 8, 2011

NORMAN ROCKWELL AND THE BOY SCOUTS



"Who am I?
I am America
as deep and warm,
great and tall,
as Norman Rockwell painted me..."







So starts the book, NORMAN ROCKWELL'S AMERICANA ABC, with text by George Mendoza.  I am lucky enough to have a copy of this beautiful book and I hope it will someday be brought back into print.

Norman Rockwell, who was born on February 3, 1894, wasn't known for being a children's book illustrator, but he definitely drew for children - his first job (when still in his teens!) was as art director for BOY'S LIFE, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America.  Incidentally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BOY SCOUTS, founded on this day, February 8, 1910.

Rockwell is probably best remembered for his paintings on the covers of THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.  His first cover appeared in 1916, when he was just 22 years old.  Over the next 47 years, an additional 321 Rockwell paintings would appear on the cover of this popular American periodical.  He recruited family, friends, and neighbors as his models!




The nostalgic documentary below contains interviews from some of his neighbors who modeled, as they look back on how he set up the scenes for the photographs he painted from.  (It includes an interview with the woman who as a girl, was the model for the "Girl at the Mirror" painting, that I've shown below).




You might also enjoy watching American Chronicles:  
The Art of Norman Rockwell (at the end, you'll have the option to watch PART II)



I'll leave you with some excerpts and images from
 NORMAN ROCKWELL'S AMERICANA ABC:
Norman Rockwell's Americana ABC
I am an astronaut on my way to the stars...a
I am a boy, the beginnings of man, looking out to sea...b
I am Christmas and carols that I wish would stay all year...c 
I am a mirror filled with the magic of tomorrow...m
Girl at the Mirror.
Original oil painting for Saturday Evening Post cover,
March 6, 1954. Berkshire Museum, on loan from Norman Rockwell.
I am all the prayers in you...p
Saying Grace.
Original oil painting for Saturday Evening Post cover,
 November 24, 1951.  Collection Mr. and Mrs. Ken Stewart
I am the turkey on your table and the joy of giving thanks...t
Freedom from Want.  Original oil painting for poster, 1943.
Collection Norman Rockwell.



"When I go to farms or little towns, I am always surprised at the discontent I find. And New York, too often, has looked across the sea toward Europe. And all of us who turn our eyes away from what we have are missing life." -Norman Rockwell

2 comments:

Marfa said...

As a child, I remember looking through a book of Norman Rockwell's work that my parents had....I loved it. I just posted a few days ago with that PRAYING one...definitely a favorite. Another one I really love is the GOSSIPS:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39935026@N03/3673879877/

Wendy said...

Love that - here's one of my all time faves, The Marriage License:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/x-ray_delta_one/3956413047/in/gallery-13964815@N00-72157624628103809