"I unconsciously decided that, even if it wasn't an ideal world, it should be and so painted only the ideal aspects of it- pictures in which there are no drunken slatterns or self-centered mothers...only foxy grandpas who played basball with the kids and boys who fished from logs and got up circuses in the backyard." - Norman Rockwell
The Norman Rockwell: Sports traveling exhibit is currently on display at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. The show, open now through August 14, features original sports-themed artwork by Norman Rockwell, the beloved Illustrator best known for his iconic Saturday Evening Post covers.
Born in 1894 in New York City, Norman Rockwell began studying at the The New York School of Art. His unique talent was recognized as early as age 15 when he painted his first commission of Christmas cards. By age 19, he was hired as art director of Boys' Life, the Boys Scouts of America publication. Rockwell went on to create 321 covers for the Post, each portraying typical American life and values. His covers were so successful that when his art appeared on the cover, 50,000 - 75,000 additional copies of the Saturday Evening Post sold at newsstands. The Saturday Evening Post covers eventually became his greatest legacy.
Rockwell tapped into the nostalgia of a people for a time that was kinder and simpler. His ability to create visual stores that were simultaneously realistic and surreal was quite outstanding. "Norman Rockwell characterized American sports in his earliest work and throughout his career. He caught unique moments in the jubilation of winning or the misery of losing. He portrayed these small moments with his unusual talents, and left a chronicle of sports in his incomparable manner."-Norman Rockwell Museum.
For more information on this exhibit or to learn more about the history behind the world famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat, please visit www.sluggermuseum.org.
Norman Rockwell: Sports is organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.