Norman Rockwell and the American Dream

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Norman Rockwell and the American Dream

Norman Rockwell is the most well-known American illustrator in history. His illustrations have become a reference to how life was from the 30s – 70s. Much of his art caught the average American in an everyday situation and made it come to life. When his art was first published, the people of that time would see America in her real moments. A barber playing his saxophone with his friends in the backroom of his shop, boys skipping school to go to the swimming hole, a soldier telling stories to his friends; these were people living the American dream. Today when a young person views his art, they see how life was in the good ol’ days.
When America went to war in 1941, so did Norman Rockwell, on canvas. Everyone knew the front lines were frightening and bloody, so Norman decided to show that the people on our soil needed to support the soldiers overseas. Rosie the Riveter was published May 29th, 1943 on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Norman wanted to motivate the public to support the troops fighting for the freedoms America had already worked hard to establish. Illustrations like this were well liked because many woman had begun working in factories to take the place of the men who had gone overseas to fight. Norman Rockwell’s attention to detail and creativity opened the eyes of the viewers to how hard many people were working in the factories. This illustration is a great picture to read. Rosie is taking a lunch break from her rigorous work in an American factory. She is dirty, ragged, and muscular but yet her nails are painted. She is wearing a face shield that has been pulled back while she eats. The shield almost makes a halo over her head, showing her feminine characteristics. Red curly hair and upturned nose feminize her. On her collar, Rosie has multiple



Cited: Rockwell, Norman, Rosie the Riveter, 1943, Arlington, Vermont. Accessed December 2, 2011. http://www.rosietheriveter.org/painting.htm Rockwell, Norman, Four Freedoms, 1943, Arlington, Vermont. Accessed December 2, 2011. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trm142.html Rosie the Riveter: Real Woman Workers in World War 2, Sharidan Harvrey. Library of Congress, 2009. Web video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04VNBM1PqR8 Norman Rockwell Museum. 2011. Date Accessed December 6, 2011. http://www.nrm.org/

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