Norman Rockwell

Biden vs. Bork, 1988: Democrats Smear a SCOTUS Nominee

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the May 1988 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. Many people have asked me what it was like to live through the nomination and hearings of my husband, Robert Bork. I usually answer that it was like being besieged in a battle where the reinforcements [...]

The Sign of the Cross at the Tour de France

A friend took me to lunch at the Harvard Club in New York City some years ago. When the food arrived, he looked around at the Masters of the Universe, he said: “Let’s shock the locals.” He then proceeded to cross himself and a say a blessing. I was shocked unto tears by something similar, [...]

Rockwell and Modernism: The Case of “The Art Critic”

It is often assumed that Norman Rockwell did not like “modern art.” This is definitely false. He liked it very much. On his studio wall, Rockwell had a print of a work by Picasso: on the bookshelves in his studio he had books on painters such as Roualt, Matisse, Munch, Seurat, Dali, Toulouse-Lautrec and other [...]

Religious Imagery in Norman Rockwell Paintings

Contrary to a widespread misconception, Norman Rockwell was not a conventionally religious man. He was raised Episcopalian and spent many boyhood hours in church serving in the choir. But as an adult, Rockwell did not belong to a church at all, and seems to have entirely walked away from any kind of regular religious devotion. [...]

What Makes Norman Rockwell Possible?

I must confess to an intellectual sin. I delight in the paintings of Norman Rockwell. I know I’m not supposed to do this. As a college professor, I have a duty to pretend to others that I derive real satisfaction from poems whose sentences cannot be parsed, from sculptures that look like green blobs from [...]

Scheduled Chaos

Fancy calendars and datebooks are all alike. Every fall, at the fresh start of a new academic year, they get to me. Irresistibly coy in their cloth-bound covers, they call to me from bookstore shelves. "Buy meeee!" they whisper alluringly as I pretend to be perusing the fitness section. "I have all the answers! I [...]

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