Decision 2012

"Norman Rockwell in a Voting Booth," Norman Rockwell. 1960. Pencil on paper, 13 ¼” x 13 ½”. Advertising illustration for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections.

“Norman Rockwell in a Voting Booth,” Norman Rockwell. 1960.
Pencil on paper, 13 ¼” x 13 ½”.
Advertising illustration for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections.

Throughout his long career, Norman Rockwell enjoyed a relationship with American politics, including the opportunity to paint several sitting Presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon). The artist continues to remain relevant, with artwork on display in the White House, and such paintings as The Four Freedoms and The Peace Corps serving as enduring images of inspiration.

This year’s Presidential Candidates have both connected with Rockwell’s work during the years– In 2011, President Barack Obama requested Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With painting from Norman Rockwell Museum, to display at the White House in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Ruby Bridge’s historic walk to integrate New Orleans schools. The President later went on to mention Rockwell and the painting during an official proclamation for National Arts and Humanities Month. A few years earlier, then Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney paid a special visit to Stockbridge, and stopped by to visit the Museum. The Governor even took time to read a short story to kids.

Even though he frequently painted humorous political scenes, Norman Rockwell obviously cared deeply about the country, and certainly exercised his own right to vote. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

Above: Norman Rockwell Museum photo, May 21, 2003. ©Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza. July 15, 2011. Courtesy The White House. All rights reserved.

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