~Norman Rockwell was a prolific artist, producing over 4,000 original works in his lifetime.
~Norman Rockwell was born on February 3, 1894, in New York City to Jarvis Waring Rockwell and Anne Mary "Nancy" Rockwell
~In 1912, at age 18, Norman Rockwell was hired as a staff artist for Boys' Life magazine (which was published by the Boy Scouts of America). He received fifty dollars compensation each month for one completed cover and a set of story illustrations. It is said to have been his first paying job as an artist.
~He sold his first successful cover painting to the Saturday Evening Post in May of 1916, Mother's Day Off
~Norman Rockwell published a total of 323 original covers for The Post over 47 years. He also did work for several other magazines, such as The Literary Digest, The Country Gentleman, and Life Magazine.
~He enlisted during World War I and was given the post of a military artist.
~In 1943, during World War II, Rockwell was inspired by a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which he described four principles for universal rights: Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of
Worship, and Freedom from Fear. This lead to a series of paintings that were published in 1943 by The Saturday Evening Post and later displayed around the country to sell war bonds. Some feel that this series was the masterpiece of his work. He felt Freedom of Speech was his best.
~For "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country," Rockwell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1977.
~Rockwell died November 8, 1978, of emphysema at age 84 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
~Rockwell's work was dismissed by serious art critics in his lifetime. Many of his works appear overly sweet in modern critics' eyes, especially the Saturday Evening Post covers, which tend toward idealistic or sentimentalized portrayals of American life – this has led to adjective "Rockwellesque"
~However in later years, he was given more critical praise for the more serious pieces he painted. Such as his paintings dealing with segregation and civil rights in the 1950-60s.
~Whatever your view on Norman Rockwell's subjects, he is clearly one of the most widely know and influential artists of the 20th century. This may be because he illustrated American life in its most idealistic form.
~Rockwell is an artist that is popularly enjoyed because people can
relate to his pictures. They find stories and experiences that they have
had in his detailed scenes.

>>Look at and discuss the pictures with students. Make sure to point out the rich detail; ask how the pictures make them feel and if they can see a story in them.
Today we are going to create our own pictures that tell a story. Remind them that it is important to visualize what story they want to tell, then include details that will help the view put the story together. Go back to the pictures, if necessary and point out little details that give the view clues into what Rockwell wanted to show.
Excuse students to their desks and let them get started. We will be working in crayon, they can use their own or share one of the boxes on the cart (There should be enough to have partners share.)
As you walk around and observe them working, stop to ask questions that will help them to flesh out their stories or provide more detail. Fast finishers can draw another picture. Encourage them by asking what could happen next in their story or what is another view they could try, etc.