There have been mixed views on whether Norman Rockwell should be considered an artist or illustrator. Rockwell’s autobiography was entitled My Adventures As An Illustrator. However, this is not consistent with the view he expresses in a later interview, where he states that he is no longer an illustrator, but that he is a painter of genre. His later works, especially the Triple Self-Portrait, clearly reflect this comment.
Through an examination of Rockwell’s Triple Self-Portrait, we can gain a better understanding of how he perceived his role. I will talk about how he comments on his status through references to the great artists of the past in this work. If we look at the negative criticism directed at Rockwell and study a few additional works in greater detail, we can discover how even this criticism is unfounded. In fact, a careful discussion of these works also will reveal where his self-portrait should be placed in light of his artistic career. The Triple Self-Portrait is characteristic of his later work, where he is demonstrating that he is more than a commercial artist. It is my hope that through this paper, I can convince others of the immense talent of Norman Rockwell as a truly remarkable artist.
Kelly Ciociola, ’05 Richland Center, WI
Sponsor: Christina McOmber