Norman Rockwell

God or the Mob?

“The counter-revolution will not be a contrary revolution, but the contrary of revolution.” — Joseph de Maistre Should Catholics be excommunicated for holding views on race which are found to be insufficiently woke? The Jesuits seem to think so. In a June 1 editorial, America magazine urged Catholics to “hunger for [social] justice like we [...]

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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