Thursday, December 5, 2013
Has Norman Rockwell Been Outed?
Any biographer writing about a familiar subject faces the same towering problem—how do I make this person seem new and modern? When writing about an artist such as Norman Rockwell, whose art acts for many as a visual time capsule of early and mid-20th century Americana, that issue becomes doubly difficult to surmount. In American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, author Deborah Solomon re-evaluates not just Rockwell’s work, which has been unjustly dismissed as kitsch for too long, but also Rockwell himself and the motivations hidden in his art. Among those hidden clues to the man she finds in Rockwell’s paintings, Solomon unearths homoeroticism and a fascination with preadolescent boys that puts the artist in a wholly different light. Although Solomon never slaps the label of homosexual or pedophile on Norman Rockwell, she comes awfully darn close. Those innuendos have infuriated Rockwell’s descendants and raised larger questions about the dangers of modern biography. Has Norman Rockwell been outed? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Has Norman Rockwell Been Outed?"