Norman Percevel Rockwell
1894 - Norman Percevel Rockwell born on the 3rd of February in New York City to Jarvis Waring and Ann Mary (Hill) Rockwell. He had one sibling, a brother, Jarvis. He was a 20th century American painter.
1912 - As a student, Rockwell was given smaller, less important jobs. His first major breakthrough came at age 18 with his first book illustration for C.H. Claudy's Tell Me Why: Stories about Mother Nature.
1913 - At age 19, he became the art editor for Boys' Life, a post he held for several years. His first published magazine cover, Scout at Ship's Wheel, appeared on Boys' Life September edition.
1916 - With Forsythe's help, he submitted his first successful cover painting to the Post, Boy with Baby Carriage, published on the 20th of May 20.
- He followed that success with Circus Barker and Strongman, published on the 3rd of June, Gramps at the Plate, Redhead Loves Hatty Perkins, People in a Theatre Balcony and Man Playing Santa. Rockwell was published eight times total on the Post cover within the first twelve months.
- Married his first wife, Irene O'Connor. Irene was Rockwell's model in Mother Tucking Children into Bed, published on the cover of The Literary Digest on the 19th of January.
1930 - Irene and Rockwell got divorced.
1939 - Quickly married schoolteacher Mary Barstow, with whom he had three children: Jarvis Waring, Thomas Rhodes and Peter Barstow. The Rockwell family moved to Arlington, Vermont, which seemed to inspire him to paint scenes of everyday small town American life.
1943 - During the Second World War, Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms series, which was completed in seven months and resulted in his losing 15 pounds; Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Worship, and Freedom from Fear. The paintings were published by The Saturday Evening Post. The U.S. Treasury Department later promoted war bonds by exhibiting the originals in 16 cities. Rockwell himself considered "Freedom of Speech" to be the best of the four.
- Spent the winter months as artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design. Students occasionally are models for his Saturday Evening Post covers.
1949 - Donates an original Post cover, "April Fool," to be raffled off in a library fund raiser.
1961 - Rockwell married his third wife, retired schoolteacher Molly Punderson. His last painting for the Post was published in 1963, marking the end of a publishing relationship that had included 321 cover paintings. He spent the next 10 years painting for Look Magazine, where his work depicted his interests in civil rights, poverty and space exploration.
1969 - During his long career, he was commissioned to paint the portraits for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, as well as those of other world figures, including Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru. One of his last works was a portrait of legendary singer Judy Garland.
1977 - Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country," the United States of America's highest civilian honor.
1978 - Died on the 8th of November of emphysema at age 84 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Page last updated: 4:30pm, 07th Mar '07