Norman Rockwell’s was an American illustrator he worked predominantly for the Saturday Evening Post creating works for the front cover that expressed America’s visual identity.
His works have become iconic of this period in American history and hugely influential for advertising, they still have an impact today.
They largely speak of tradition and the workings of everyday life, with a huge kitsch appeal, although some have a political bent particularly his later work and those that coincided with the war.
Many of his paintings focus upon Thanksgiving.
Norman Rockwell Saving Grace 1951
Saying Grace as the name suggests shows a family saying their prayers around a rather unusual thanksgiving table. It was produced and published for the Thanksgiving edition of the post in 1951. It is a poignant scene in which the family sit in a diner saying grace while other figures look on incredulously. It reminds the viewer that Thanksgiving is not just about turkey but is a testament of faith and tradition.
Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want 1943
On the other end of the spectrum we find Freedom from Want, which is a self proclaimed celebration of plenty. The MASSIVE turkey about to be carved completes the table which includes a variety of other sumptuously painted food. The table is surrounded by smiling faces leaning in as if smelling the turkey and laughing and joking with each other.
However the painting also sits within a political dialogue, it is one of the four freedoms referred to in a speech by Roosevelt, they included Speech, Want, Fear and Worship and were intended as a reminder of the reasons for the World War.
Regardless of the political statement behind the painting it is primarily a painting of a family including a variety of generations being united in celebration.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving full of food fun family and friendship!!