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Norman Perceval Rockwell was born at the end of the 19th century in New York City and his name is synonymous with downhome American culture. As an artist, his subjects were everyday people doing everyday things and he is best known for the covers he created for The Saturday Evening Post for five decades. It has been reported that he produced over 4,000 original works during his lifetime and many are now in public collections, some have been destroyed in fire or lost in other misfortunes. In addition, he illustrated more than 40 books including childhood classics of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He painted the portraits of a number of American presidents – Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Nixon. One of his last portraits, of Colonel Harlan Sanders (of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame) was done in 1973. He contributed many illustrations that appeared on the national Boy Scout magazine, “Boy’s Life” between 1913 and 1976. He drew the first cover for the Boys Life magazine when he was only 19 years old.
During his lifetime some art critics rejected Rockwell’s illustrations as serious work. They claimed that the subjects were overly sweet and sentimental portrayals of American life. Yet he is probably recognized more than most other artists in the United States.
Department 56 is very pleased to have entered into a licensing agreement with the Norman Rockwell Foundation to encorporate some of Rockwell’s classic illustrations in a group of special Snow Village buildings and accessories in 2018. Village artist, Scott Enter (the lit pieces) and accessories designer, Tate Yotter (the accessories) have designed a number things that go very well with the rest of Snow Village pieces. We are thrilled to be able to share this collection and can tell you that there will be new additions in 2019. They are all perfect gifts for friends and family who simply admire Rockwell’s work.
While the buildings may not be familiar, if you peer into the windows you will get a glimpse into America through the illustrations featured on each piece. Scott told us that he designed each building with special attention paid to keeping the true spirit of what Rockwell was trying to say in each illustration, and designed the rest of the story around the painting. You will also gain an understanding of what was happening in the United States at the time the illustration were executed – Rockwell, was, in his very subtle way, making a statement on the economy, politics, religion and family dynamics.
Below are the two illustrations used in the 2018 introductions.