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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Remember the Golden Rule- Happy New Year

The Problem We All Live With-Norman Rockwell, 1963; In honor of Ruby Bridges
Southern Justice-Norman Rockwell, 1965; in honor of the three young Civil Rights activists who were killed while trying to register people to vote in the South-James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner

Negro in the Suburbs,  Norman Rockwell, 1967; Take note how each set of kids has a baseball mitt

I want to open the New Year with a post about the power of love and how as artists our work can be influenced by who we love and how the right kind of love can make us brave.  For many older people like my grandfather, who introduced me to the work of the illustrator and painter Norman Rockwell, Mr. Rockwell was a beloved, almost iconic figure, even for African-Americans who rarely were represented in his work which appeared on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post for more than 40 years.   I learned that the Saturday Evening Post and many publications at that time had an editorial policy that African-Americans could only be presented in subservient or menial positions.  When African-Americans did show up in Mr. Rockwell’s paintings we were there just as background.  
But he found in his third wife,  Molly Punderson,  the encouragement to open his eyes and make a big leap into the kind of  artistic work that makes a statement  and takes a stand.   Mr. Rockwell left The Saturday Evening Post and joined Look Magazine where he did the kind of illustrations I admire him for. 
Please click on the images to learn more about the subjects of the illustrations and give it up for the power of love. 

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