Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Wonder what all of the above could have in common? They were all part of a wonderful fall weekend we just had! We visited The Norman Rockwell Museum where I learned about a connection between Rockwell and FDR. We saw Chesterwood, the country home of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial. And, we went to Ventfort, built by Sarah Morgan, sister of J.P. Morgan - where the exterior scenes for the movie The Cider House Rules were filmed.
The Norman Rockwell Museum is in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where Rockwell lived for the last twenty five years of his life.
There's a very interesting article about Norman Rockwell in this month's Vanity Fair. Many thanks to R. Michael Palan who brought the article to my attention at the Illustrator's Party!
This is Rockwell's studio. It was the last of 20 that he had in his life. It was originally located in the town of Stockbridge. Towards the end of his life, Rockwell donated the studio to the museum. It was cut in two and moved, on two flatbed trucks, to the grounds of the museum.
There's so much to say about the work of Norman Rockwell that I would hardly know where to begin! And, the Vanity Fair article mentioned above says a lot! So, I'll just focus on something that I learned about this past weekend - something that I found to be extremely moving. The poster above is called the Four Freedoms. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress, giving his historic "Four Freedoms" speech. At the time, Europe was under Nazi domination. Roosevelt gave the speech to convince Congress and the country of the necessity of war and to appeal to American's most profound beliefs. Rockwell was so inspired by the speech that he created these paintings to illustrate the "Four Freedoms" theme. The paintings became part of a massive, successful U.S. war bond drive.