Reflecting the shared experiences we have throughout our lives, Norman Rockwell's paintings are truly timeless. As the ultimate storyteller, Rockwell turned everyday life experiences into works of art, making us not only reminisce about a simpler time but giving us hope that a life full of optimism, hope and happiness could exist.
Lucky for us, two of the greatest filmmakers of our time, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, have opened up their personal collection of Rockwell's iconic paintings for all of us to enjoy. At the Smithsonian from now till January 2nd, the museum is exhibiting fifty-seven of his major works.
“He wasn't cynical. He wasn't mean-spirited,” Spielberg says about Rockwell.
“He captured the American ideal of what we wanted to believe we were,” Lucas says. “We weren't any better then than we are now, but by having the ideal out there — what we aspired to — it made it so that we could try to be more than what we were.”
Pardon Me (Children Dancing at a Party)
Boy and Father: Homework
Christmas: Santa with Elves
—And Daniel Boone Comes to Life on the Underwood
Boy Reading Adventure Story
Graduation (Boy with Teacher)
The Gossips (Three Ladies Gossiping)
Woman at Vanity
Couple in Rumble Seat
Movie Starlet and Reporters
Boy on High Dive
Back to Civvies
Girl Missing Tooth (The Checkup)
Little Girl Looking Downstairs at Christmas Party
Tender Years: New Calendar
Going and Coming
Let Nothing You Dismay
It's interesting to note that Rockwell's work was dismissed by serious art critics during his lifetime. In fact, his Saturday Evening Post covers were often regarded as too idealistic or sentimentalized portrayals of American life. It was only in his later years when Rockwell began receiving more attention as a true painter.
For more information or to check out the full, online exhibition, click here.