Saturday, October 31, 2009

Guest post & book review of Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera by Ron Schick

To guest post and review today, we have Rosario Lapus, who is a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I had shown her the book some time ago and she graciously offered to share her thoughts on Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera by Ron Schick. I eagerly took her up on her offer. Please welcome, Rosario Lapus, one of my favorite people and my mother!

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

This book provides an elaborate and captivating look into the creative process followed by one of the most truly American of artists.

A gifted storyteller, Norman Rockwell made use of photography to expand on a theme and create a realistic setting for his story illustrations. With “props bought, borrowed or rented”, he constructed a scene that was detailed and natural, peopled by neighbors and friends. These scenes were authentic simply because the people were real. He portrayed American life with gusto and great fidelity.

Known as the “kid with the camera eye”, the camera was the instrument used by Rockwell to serve as interface of the eye and the canvas, capturing the nuances and details of a scene which he later edited to reflect his own vision. Much like today’s art director, he created a setting, cut and pasted some parts, then filled them with action and color to obtain the end-result he wanted.

These visual images Rockwell created with the help of the camera resonated with the ordinary American. With titles like: “Merry Christmas, Grandma… we came in our new Plymouth” (1951); “Maternity Waiting Room “ (1946); “Leaving the Hospital” (1954) these domestic vignettes realistically conveyed the excitement, anxiety, and various emotions of people settling into family life after almost a decade of war and deprivation. The automobile, the newest symbol of prosperity, brought a new way of life and clearly captivated him and his audience.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 22, 2009)224 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

Thank you so much Rosario for the guest review! And a huge thank you to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity.


  1. The book is beautiful, produced on heavy, glossy stock with hundreds of images. A wonderful coffee table book and one to share. I'm taking mine over when I visit my grandmother. I know she'll enjoy looking at remembered images.

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