Thursday, June 30, 2011

Norman Rockwell

I love Rockwell. There's a restaurant in Stony Brook that uses a Rockwell motif. I love this painting- the excitement of the son and the sadness of the father. You can imagine what the father is thinking; remembering all of the love and joy his son has brought him, and wondering what his life will be like when  his child no longer lives with the family.

My wife and I have had a couple of kids go to college, and we have a couple of more to go.  We know how the father feels, and how the son feels as well. Our experience has been that they come home soon and often, and that the feeling that the family is missing someone fades. The wired world really does shrink distances. We talk with our daughter at college daily.

Our family just seems bigger- friends, college roommates and girlfriends and boyfriends. It's not as bad as we feared. It even brings new joys.

Another interpretation of the father's gloom is that maybe he's thinking about the cost of tuition...


  1. Strange isn't it, that Rockwell never painted a black person (that I've seen), never used his art to protest the racial oppression enforced in his America by Christian organizations like the Ku Klux Klan?

  2. Funny that Anon,
    I am not a Rockwell collector but a quick google came up with these images:

    I also came across this quote on the lack of politics / agenda on his part:
    Maybe as I grew up and found the world wasn’t the perfectly pleasant place I had thought it to be, I unconsciously decided that, even if it wasn’t an ideal world, it should be and painted only the ideal aspects of it—pictures in which there were no drunken slatterns or self-centered mothers [Rockwell is alluding to his own mother here], in which, on the contrary, there were only Foxy Grandpas who played football with the kids, and boys fished from logs and got up circuses in the back yard. If there was sadness in this created world of mine, it was a pleasant sadness. If there were problems, they were humorous problems. The people in my pictures aren’t mentally ill [as Rockwell’s wife Mary was] or deformed. The situations they get into are commonplace, everyday situations, not the agonizing crises and tangles of life.

    Demystified? Works for me.