Modern Library, Paperback, 9780812967234, 592pp.
Publication Date: March 25, 2003
Norman Rockwell’s hundreds of memorable covers for The Saturday Evening Post made him a twentieth-century American icon. However, because of the very popularity of his idealized depictions of middle-class life, his more serious paintings have been largely ignored, and he has often been deemed a mere illustrator, not a “real” artist.
In this, the first comprehensive biography of America’s most popular artist, Laura Claridge breaks new ground with her appreciative but clear-eyed view of Rockwell’s work—and his life. Based upon previously unpublished family archives and hundreds of interviews, this account reveals for the first time the deep disparity between the artist’s public image and his private life.
“[An] excellent and thorough new biography.” —Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times
“Judicious, eminently readable, and astute . . . Claridge makes it her mission to demystify Rockwell’s misunderstood image and real persona. . . . Nuanced . . . persuasive . . . chock-full of charming anecdotes . . . This book deserves a wide readership.” —The Boston Globe (a Boston Globe Best Book of 2001)
“Impeccably researched and engagingly written.” —The Washington Post
“Claridge has done an extraordinary job; she is an exhaustive researcher and a gifted art historian.” —Entertainment Weekly