February 3, 1894 marked the birth of one of America’s most beloved artists, Norman Percevel Rockwell.
At sixteen, he painted his first commission of four Christmas cards. The following year he accepted a job as an artist illustrating the “Tell me Why Stories,” a series of children’s books. Then hired as the art director of “Boys’ Life” magazine, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of Americacontinued his work with the Scouts, illustrating the official Boy Scout calendar for fifty years.
In 1916 the 22 year-old Rockwell sold his first cover to "The Saturday Evening Post”. Rockwell went on to create 321 covers for the Post, each portraying typical American life and values.
Through the years, Rockwell’s renditions of Americana appeared all over the world. During World War II, he painted his widely loved series the “Four Freedoms” as his personal contribution to the war effort. The patriotic paintings symbolized the war aims President Roosevelt set forth. The paintings were so successful that the works toured in an exhibition that raised $139.9 million for the war effort through the sales of war bonds.
In 1963, after 47 years at "The Saturday Evening Post," Rockwell parted ways with the magazine. He went to work for "Look" magazine almost immediately. Some of Rockwell’s most powerful creations came out of his years with "Look." One such piece was inspired by the unjust murders of three civil rights workers near Philadelphia and Mississippi. In 1977 President Gerald R. Ford presented Rockwell with the country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
On November 8, 1978 Norman Rockwell died in his Stockbridge