Thursday, July 10, 2014

Art Appreciation: Appreciating Norman Rockwell in a Major Way

American illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894 - 1978) was the artist of our fourth quarter art appreciation.  It was so much fun!!  His art is so very different from the other artists we have previously studied, it took the kids by surprise at first.  I think they were confused about how these "funny" pictures could be part of our art lessons ;)

"Before the Shot" 1958
It really was great fun looking for the little details in his paintings.  We took turns choosing which illustrations we liked best and then would "tell the story" that was painted there.  These were some of our favorites:

"Traffic Conditions" (1949)
"Boy With Baby Carriage" (1916)
"Doctor and the Doll" (1929)

(Here's a post on how we "do" art appreciation in general)  For Rockwell, I used two 2013 calendars, art cards, and these books:

Rockwell: a Boy and His Dog, Loren Spiotta-Di Mare

While looking at his artwork, I noticed that many of the originals were at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbrige, Massachusetts.  Well, we were going to Massachusetts at the end of June, and Stockbrige just happened to be right off the interstate...  

The day we were at the museum there was a reunion of people that has served as models for Rockwell.  That would have been interesting to check out, but we were just there for a short time while on the drive home from Cape Cod.  It was a 12-hour ordeal driving home that day.  I'm so glad that we got to spend part of that time here seeing some of Rockwell's original works!  I was especially happy that the kids enjoyed it as much as they did, Ruth in particular. It was a pretty great "homeschool" moment to watch them look at a painting and then realize, "I know this one!"  I think this was the first time they've seen originals of art they've studied and they were pretty impressed.  It was a real treat for all of us! 


  1. That is cool...that you got to see the originals. There is nothing better. I love all of your photos, especially the ones in the museum while they are looking at the art. We have done this, but usually we are not allowed to take pictures in the museum, so I can't get those great shots of the kids enthralled in the art. What fun!

    1. I know! We were so lucky that they allowed photography (no flash, of course). I'm hoping that as the kids get older and we're able to travel a little more easily, we'll get to see some other familiar artwork in person!

  2. Very, very special moment. You will always remember Ruth's reaction:)

  3. That is so cool. That picture of Ruth looking is the perfect home schooled child photo to capture :) I don't have any exposure to Rockwell except the most popular of paintings but some of those are really unique!! It's making me want to learn him more!


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