In Search of Norman Rockwell's America

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Overview

In this unprecedented collection, photojournalist Kevin Rivoli proves that the idealistic, all-American views found in Norman Rockwell's classic illustrations are, in fact, accurate and timeless portrayals of a nation that truly does exist.

Some critics argue that Norman Rockwell's images are overly sentimental, old-fashioned, and contrived. Yet it was always photojournalist Kevin Rivoli's belief that the themes that make Rockwell's illustrations so poignant — patriotism, faith,...

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Overview

In this unprecedented collection, photojournalist Kevin Rivoli proves that the idealistic, all-American views found in Norman Rockwell's classic illustrations are, in fact, accurate and timeless portrayals of a nation that truly does exist.

Some critics argue that Norman Rockwell's images are overly sentimental, old-fashioned, and contrived. Yet it was always photojournalist Kevin Rivoli's belief that the themes that make Rockwell's illustrations so poignant — patriotism, faith, family, and sports — are also what make our country so great. Determined to dispel the critics' claims against Rockwell's prolific body of work, Rivoli set out with his camera to visit small towns and capture spontaneous Rockwell moments that celebrate the glory of ordinary, everyday life.

In Search of Norman Rockwell's America pairs Rivoli's photographs side by side with Norman Rockwell's iconic paintings, demonstrating how Rockwell's scenes were not just imagined on a canvas since they continue to sensitively reflect the American experience today. Each page of In Search of Norman Rockwell's America is filled with inspiring quotes and anecdotes from those who have been touched by Rockwell, including Arnold Palmer, Dick Clark, Beau Bridges, Dolly Parton, former president Jimmy Carter, and even the original subjects of Rockwell's artwork. A must-have for photographers, artists, Rockwell enthusiasts, and those desiring to slow down and focus on what's really important in life — embracing those special Rockwell moments.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416595472
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 10/21/2008
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"Commonplaces never become tiresome. It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative...We find that it is not a new scene which is needed, but a new viewpoint." Norman Rockwell made that statement more than seventy years ago, but the point he made then is still relevant today — maybe even more so.

One of the most important lessons I've learned from Rockwell and his work is that life isn't always about moving to new places to find new things. And it isn't about having the biggest and the best and the most. Life — real life — is about looking at, appreciating, and embracing the simple things that are right in front of us. Rockwell was a man who made it his mission to celebrate the ordinary. And although he was immensely popular among the American people, his work was often dismissed by critics who deemed his work old-fashioned and too idealistic, or sentimental and overly nostalgic. He was accused of creating moments that didn't exist or — as one critic alleged — of "creating an America that never was and never will be."

Text copyright © 2008 by Kevin Rivoli

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 5, 2009

    Rockwell

    I bought this book after much debate of if I "really needed" it, but now that I have it I don't know what I would do without it. It's great on rainy days when you want to see those simple times in life. It's entertaining, I learned a lot, and the pictures brought back stories I've heard or memories I have. If you are debating whether you really need another coffee table book I highly recommend it. I haven't had a guest that denied themselves at a look at the beautiful pictures yet. Great gift for anyone, I got one for my dad.

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Reality of Sentiment

    I bought this book for my Dad after hearing he and his sisters reminisce. The author sought to find the America that Norman Rockwell depicts in his famous paintings -- and he found it! The photos and commentary are great and show that despite the sentimentality of Rockwell's depiction there is a reality behind the works. There is a goodness there which we need to hold onto -- not to exclude any one from but to expand. Excellent book to give as a gift and to thumb through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    Norman Rockwell Meets Today

    Nostalgic look back back for Norman Rockwell fans... but linked to everyday America now. While many of the photos are not identical to the piece of Rockwell art each represents, the link to it's companion is outstanding. It is fun to leaf through and find those favorite Rockwell's and this author/photographer's interpretation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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