“Dickens wrote about the kind of people I paint.”—Norman Rockwell
In My Adventures as an Illustrator, Norman Rockwell’s 1960 autobiography, the artist recalled memories from his youth that were seminal to his later work as an illustrator. Of particular importance were evening readings from the classic tales of Charles Dickens by his father Jarvis Waring Rockwell, after-dinner treats that sparked his imagination and his love of narrative storytelling.
Throughout his life, Rockwell would cite the significance of those nightly readings and the influence of Dickens on his art. Not only did the author provide a lexicon of human experience and personality types for Rockwell to explore, he also inspired the artist’s portrayal of Dickensian characters throughout his career.
Norman Rockwell Museum salutes the literary great on the 200th anniversary of his birthday, February 7, 1812. Be sure to catch the Museum’s current exhibition, Norman Rockwell and the Ghost of Dickens, on view through February 25, 2012.