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Norman Rockwell: The Impact of His Prints

Norman Rockwell prints have become a defining part of American culture since they were first created. His influence is as widespread as his name is well known, and his illustrations are an important part of American history. However, despite the acclaim and continued popularity his prints receive and enjoy, Norman Rockwell’s work has always been an issue of controversy among artists and art historians. Because the majority, if not all, of his work is in the form of illustrations in other publications, some argue that Norman Rockwell is not really an artist in the strict sense of the word but instead simply an illustrator.

The History of Norman Rockwell Prints

You can find Norman Rockwell prints in many different kinds of publications, but the most common place is the _Saturday Evening Post_. Beginning in 1916, Rockwell created 332 covers for the popular magazine in a style that some have called “countrified realism.” Rockwell was a modest man interested in painting and drawing traditional values, yet he always managed the apply these traditional values to the modern, changing world, leaving an impression on the general public. Americans have loved his works throughout time and across the country. An occurrence that testifies to this is the fact that print orders for the _Saturday Evening Post_ automatically increased by 250,000 whenever one of his prints was on the cover.

In addition to _Post_ covers, Rockwell also illustrated for eighty other magazines and forty books. He is best known for his everyday subjects and eye for detail. Because Rockwell prints are so popular, they are not hard to find. It is a good idea to check antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales because you might stumble upon old prints or _Post_ covers that people do not recognize or appreciate. Select art stores that sell prints may also have Rockwell’s work, and the Internet can be a helpful resource, as well. If an artist is someone who creates an artistic expression of the world around him or her—whether real of imaginative—Rockwell certainly qualifies. He points out the beauty in the normal things around him and inspires the public to remember traditional values.

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