Norman Percevel Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture.
Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than four decades.
Inspired by world war II, Normal Rockwell painted one of his most famous series of works called the “Four Freedoms Series”. The series was inspired by a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt in which he described the four principles for universal rights: Freedom from Want, Freedom from Speech, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom from Fear.
The paintings were published in 1943 by The Saturday Evening Post.
His World War II illustrations used themes of patriotism, longing, shifting gender roles, reunion, love, work, community and family during wartime to promote the war. In his role as a magazine illustrator during times of war, Rockwell draws comparisons to Winslow Homer, an American Civil War illustrator for Harper’s Weekly.
Major works during the 1940’s
▪ The Four Freedoms (1943)
– Freedom of Speech (1943)
– Freedom of Worship (1943)
– Freedom from Want (1943)
– Freedom from Fear (1943)
▪ Rosie the Riveter (1943)
▪ Going and Coming (1947)
Rockwell’s painting ‘Rosie the Riveter’, which is a cultural icon of the United States, representing American women who worked in factories during World War II. These women sometimes took entirely new jobs replacing the male workers who were in the military. Rosie the Riveter is commonly used as a symbol of feminism and women’s economic power.
Rockwell’s illustration features a brawny woman taking her lunch break with a rivet gun on her lap and beneath her Penny loafer a copy of Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf. Her lunch pail reads “Rosie”; viewers quickly recognized this to be “Rosie the Riveter”