Rockwell's famous Saturday Evening Post covers, the four Freedoms he painted during the years of World War II, his depictions of American towns, families, and traditions are all represented in this enchanting volume. They offer a picture of America that we hold dear, representing a world of hope and humanity.
Fred Bauer writes about Rockwell's message of optimism and the artist's faith in America and its people in a forthright and sympathetic text complemented by numerous Rockwell favorites in all their warmth and color. Bauer visits Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and Arlington, Vermont, talking to the people who lived with Rockwell and posed for his anecdotal pictures, the people about whom the artist said, "If you are interested in the characters you draw and understand them and love them, why, the people who see your pictures are bound to feel the same way." This lovely book enables us to partake once again of that unique love and understanding that Norman Rockwell still communicates to America.
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There is no mistaking a Norman Rockwell painting. His knack for capturing honest folk in the nostalgic light of a simpler America made him one of the most beloved artists of his time, creating instant recognition for his popular illustrations. Some might scoff at the now long-faded idealism that informed his canvases, but for many Americans Rockwell's work has come to symbolize the heart and soul of a more sympathetic society, one free from the condescending sneer of cynicism. Fred Bauer, author of this well-researched and extensive collection is definitely one of the deceased painter's most informed and ardent champions. Included here are the pieces he believes represent the, "more inspirational illustrations, the ones that lifted spirits and filled doubting hearts with hope and faith." Accordingly, he groups them in chapters addressing specific types of faith, such as the kind found in loved ones, traditions, country, etc., and Bauer's text offers much more than simple description. He takes us on a journey to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell's immortalized home town, where he meets with the painter's widow, searches out former models, and chats up the local folks who knew Rockwell not as a maker of lasting icons, but as a friend and neighbor. With careful attention and thoughtful insight he has created a kind of written portrait that offers a level of understanding and appreciation for the artist that can only add to the enjoyment shared by Rockwell's countless admirers. --George LaneyAbout the Author:
Fred Bauer has written more than a dozen books, including the How Many Hills to Hillsboro?, Everett Dirksen: The Man and His Words, and Then Sings My Soul (with George Beverly Shea). Born in Ohio, he has worked widely in communications and with radio, newspapers, and magazines.
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