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 Based upon previously unpublished family archives and hundreds of interviews, this account reveals for the first time the deep disparity between the artist’s public image and his private life.
About the Author
Laura Claridge is the author of the biography of painter Tamara DeLempicka as well as books on British Romanticism, Modernism, gender, and psychoanalytic theory. A popular international lecturer, she was professor of English literature at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, for eleven years. She lives in New York City.
“[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