02/02 Norman Rockwell To Be Subject Of Author Talk At Library

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02/02 Norman Rockwell To Be Subject Of Author Talk At Library

January 17, 2014 - 23:22

Author Jane PetrickNEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The author of a new book on Norman Rockwell, entitled Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell’s America, will be speaking at the New Rochelle Public Library on Sunday, February 2 at 2:00 pm. Jane Allen Petrick has explored a number of the illustrator’s little-known and unknown models, and will reveal that Norman Rockwell's America was not all white. As early as 1936, Rockwell was portraying people of color with empathy and a dignity often denied them at the time. And he created these portraits from live models – some of whom may very well have been New Rochelle residents, as he worked and lived in New Rochelle from 1913 – 1939.

In her engrossing and often humorous narrative, Jane Allen Petrick unfolds, for the first time, the stories of the Asian, African, and Native Americans who modeled for Norman Rockwell. These people of color, though often hidden in plain sight, are present throughout Rockwell's more than 4000 illustrations. These include people like the John Lane family, Navajos poignantly depicted in the virtually unknown Norman Rockwell painting, "Glen Canyon Dam," and people like Isaac Crawford, a ten year old African-American Boy Scout who helped Norman Rockwell finally integrate the Boy Scout calendar.

Ms. Petrick will discuss how the book came about, her extensive research, and the many interviews she conducted with former models of Rockwell. For those who love Norman Rockwell, and for all those people who never thought much about Norman Rockwell because they believed Norman Rockwell never thought much about them, the book – and Ms. Petrick’s presentation, will undoubtedly change the way Rockwell has previously been perceived.

The free presentation will be followed by a reception and book signing.

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Norman Rockwell is one of the USA's most important artists and he is very associated with New Rochelle. His first wife was from NR, and his in-laws, the O'Connors, still lived in New Rochelle in the late 1970's. I met them about a year before Norman Rockwell died, and they told me that he was blind and infirm.

Rockwell's studio was in the artist building located on the corner of Division & Main, one block from the library.

The main New Rochelle Library's Children's Room has a large, original painting specifically created for it by Norman Rockwell.