Stephanie Haboush Plunkett

Stephanie Haboush Plunkett

 

Stephanie Haboush Plunkett is Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum.

Norman Rockwell: Drawings, 1914-76

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The first book on the brilliant yet little-seen drawings of Norman Rockwell, spanning his six-decade career

Before Norman Rockwell put paintbrush to canvas, he had a precise idea of what he wanted to create. A perfectionist and analytical thinker, Rockwell completed numerous preparatory drawings in the process of developing his paintings, much like the Old Masters before him. He worked in several stages, including thumbnail sketches and studies of particular details—culminating in a meticulous tonal drawing that served as a basis for the final painting. But Rockwell’s drawing was not only in the service of his painting: he also executed finished illustrations in pencil and charcoal; kept travel sketchbooks; and shared illustrated letters, caricatures, and comics with his family and friends.

This abundantly illustrated book reveals the entire scope of Rockwell’s work as a draftsman. It reproduces the full sequence of preliminary drawings (and reference photographs) that led up to some of his most famous Saturday Evening Post covers—and it also presents a generous sampling of his standalone drawings, many of them rarely published. The text, by curators at the Norman Rockwell Museum, illuminates and contextualizes the different aspects of Rockwell’s drawing practice.  

Norman Rockwell: Drawings, which accompanies an exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum, will be a must-have reference for artists and illustrators, and a delight for art lovers.

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Enduring Ideals

Rockwell, Roosevelt, and the Four Freedoms

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 A landmark volume placing Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms in their historical and artistic context.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt closed his 1941 State of the Union address with a vision of a world founded upon four human values: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. By 1943, America had entered World War II, and inspired to do his part, Norman Rockwell painted a series of four paintings based on these Freedoms.

Rockwell’s innately American interpretations of the Freedoms found a familiar home at The Saturday Evening Post, where they proved overwhelmingly popular. The U.S. government put the works on tour, and they helped raise $133 million for the war effort.

Enduring Ideals reveals the complex and sometimes unexpected story behind FDR’s Freedoms and the role
of Rockwell’s paintings—on tour for the first time in a generation—in illuminating them. In doing so, it brings together other works, by Rockwell and his contemporaries—such as Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks—along with analysis and commentary by art historians and others, including activist Ruby Bridges, artist Daisy Rockwell, and Ambassador William vanden Heuvel.

Stephanie Haboush Plunkett is Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum.

James J. Kimble, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Communication & the Arts, Seton Hall University.

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