Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

A Pilgrim's Progress, Norman Rockwell, Life Magazine Cover, 1921

Illustrator Norman Rockwell is almost synonymous with a classic American Thanksgiving. Rockwell began illustrating magazines when he was 16 years old and went on to create a prolific career painting a total of 321 covers for The Saturday Evening Post.

Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post, 1943

Freedom From Want, the painting that illustrates what we mean when we say "A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving" was part of Rockwell's Four Freedoms series. In 1943, during some of the darkest days of World War II, Rockwell was inspired to paint this popular series by a speech that Franklin Roosevelt gave to congress. The paintings were first published in consecutive issues of the Post each accompanied by an essay written by a contemporary writer of the time. The prints later toured the country raising over 130 million dollars for the war effort in war bond sales. In 1977 Rockwell was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal.

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