Norman Rockwell (American, February 3, 1894–November 8, 1978) was a 20th-century painter and illustrator most recognized for his cover art on The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell did over 300 covers for the The Saturday Evening Post, in which he portrayed everything from everyday mundane life to social injustice and civil rights. Rockwell was born in New York, NY, on February 3, 1894, to Jarvis and Nancy Rockwell.

From an early age, Rockwell showed a fondness for artistic expression. At the age of 14, he enrolled in classes at The New York School of Art, where his first formal art training began. In 1910, at the age of 16, Rockwell dropped out of high school to attend the National Academy of Design. His stint there was short lived, however, as he would soon transfer to the Art Students League. There he studied with Thomas Fogarty (American, 1873–1938) and George Bridgeman (Canadian-American, 1865–1943), who are credited for developing much of Rockwell's artistic skills. One of Rockwell's first paying jobs was as the art director for Boys' Life, the official print publication of the Boy Scouts of America. Later in his career, Rockwell would continue to work with the Boy Scouts of America, illustrating several of their campaigns, including their annual calendar.

At the age of 21, Rockwell moved with his family to New Rochelle, NY, where he would open a studio with fellow cartoonist, Clyde Forsythe (American, 1885–1962). The two collaborated on several magazines, including Life, Literary Digest, and Country Gentlemen. At age 22, Rockwell painted his first The Saturday Evening Post cover. Rockwell would go on to create 321 covers for The Saturday Evening Post during his career. In total, Rockwell did over 4,000 original artwork pieces. Among his most famous pieces are The Four Freedoms (1943), Rosie the Riveter (1943), and Golden Rule (1961). His last piece for the The Saturday Evening Post was published in 1963, but he continued to work for the next 10 years on Look Magazine. Rockwell died November 8, 1978, in Stockbridge, MA, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most well-known and recognized magazine illustrators of all time.

Timeline

1894
Born in New York City
1908
Starts classes at the New York School of Art
1910
Studies at The National Academy of Design, and later transfers to the The Art Students League
1916
Paints first cover for The Saturday Evening Post
1978
Died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Exhibitions

2006–2007
Norman Rockwell's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, (traveling show), organized by The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge
2006–2007
Norman Rockwell in the 1940s: A View of the American Homefront, (traveling show) organized by The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge
2005–2007
Norman Rockwell's Home for the Holidays, (traveling show), organized by The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge
2005–2007
Norman Rockwell's 323 Saturday Evening Post Covers, (traveling show), organized by The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge
2004
Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms: Paintings that Inspired a Nation, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC
2002
American Life and Storytelling: The Art of Norman Rockwell, The Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas
1999–2002
Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People (traveling show), organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge