Norman Rockwell: Drawings, 1911-1976 (Hardcover)
The first book on the brilliant yet little-seen drawings of Norman Rockwell—including side-by-side comparisons of his drawings and his finished paintings
Before Norman Rockwell put paintbrush to canvas, he had a precise idea of what he wanted to create. A perfectionist and analytical thinker, Rockwell completed numerous preparatory drawings in the process of developing his paintings, much like the Old Masters before him. He worked in several stages, including thumbnail sketches and studies of particular details—culminating in a meticulous tonal drawing that served as a basis for the final painting. But Rockwell’s drawing was not only in the service of his painting: he also executed finished illustrations in pencil and charcoal; kept travel sketchbooks; and shared illustrated letters, caricatures, and comics with his family and friends.
This abundantly illustrated book reveals the entire scope of Rockwell’s work as a draftsman. It reproduces the full sequence of preliminary drawings (and reference photographs) that led up to some of his most famous Saturday Evening Post covers—and it also presents a generous sampling of his standalone drawings, many of them rarely published. The text, by curators at the Norman Rockwell Museum, illuminates Rockwell’s technique as well as the influences on his draftsmanship, including his instructors at the Art Students League and the great artists of the past.
Norman Rockwell: Drawings, which accompanies an exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum, will be a must-have reference for artists and illustrators, and a delight for art lovers.
About the Author
Stephanie Haboush Plunkett is Deputy Director/Chief Curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum. She currently leads the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies and has organized many illustration-based exhibitions, including Inventing America: Rockwell and Warhol; Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World; The Unknown Hopper: Edward Hopper as Illustrator; William Steig: Love & Laughter; and Ephemeral Beauty: Al Parker and the American Women’s Magazine, 1940–1960; as well as the international traveling exhibition Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms. Her most recent publication is Drawing Lessons from the Famous Artists School: Classic Techniques and Expert Tips from the Golden Age of Illustration.
Jesse M. Kowalski, Curator of Exhibitions, joined Norman Rockwell Museum in 2015. Since coming on board, he has curated Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration; Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning; Inventing America: Rockwell and Warhol; The Art & Wit of Rube Goldberg; Superheroes and Superstars: The Art of Alex Ross; and Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi, and is currently preparing additional exhibitions. Prior to joining Norman Rockwell Museum, Kowalski served as Director of Exhibitions at The Andy Warhol Museum, where he was employed for eighteen of the Museum’s twenty years, curating many of the Warhol Museum’s popular traveling and in-house exhibitions.
Louis Henry Mitchell is the Creative Director of Character Design for Sesame Workshop, where he directs and oversees all aspects of character art. Most recently, he designed Julia, the first Sesame Street character on the autism spectrum, from initial character illustration to final sculpted Muppet. Mitchell studied at the School of Visual and The Art Students League, and credits Norman Rockwell as a major inspiration in his desire to become an artist.
This book reveals [Rockwell] to be a tireless worker whose drawings carried much more skill, substance, and conviction than previously recognized.