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During the sixty years that Norman Rockwell has illustrated the American scene, he has become a major visual chronicler of American history and society. He has done this from two perspectives—by recording such major international events as man's first walk on the moon, and also by depicting everyday American traditions and activities. The charm and the memorable quality of his art are largely the result of his painstaking care for detail and accuracy, his focus on telling a story, his sense of humor, and his sincere, sympathetic view of all sorts of personalities or situations. With remarkable perception, over the years he has portrayed the American Dream, and has become the most popular and best-known artist in America.
In 1968, when Bernard Danenberg began exhibiting Norman Rockwell's paintings in his New York gallery, he began an important revival and re-evaluation of Rockwell, which has resulted in several books and a major traveling exhibition. The author of the text for the catalogue, Thomas S. Beuchner, who has made an exhaustive study of Rockwell's work, gives us a lively and informative view of Rockwell's life, his training, the development of his style, his most prominent themes, and his continued success. Particularly interesting is his description of Rockwell's method of working—from the first sketches and gathering of props to the finished painting. The catalogue includes 159 illustrations, arranged in chronological groupings. Most are in color, and many are in large, two-page or foldout spreads, providing a truly vivid retrospective of Rockwell's great achievement.