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Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

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Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first book to explore the meticulously composed and richly detailed photographs that Norman Rockwell used to create his famous artworks. Working alongside skilled photographers, Rockwell acted as director, carefully orchestrating models, selecting props, and choosing locations for the photographs -- works of art in their own right Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first book to explore the meticulously composed and richly detailed photographs that Norman Rockwell used to create his famous artworks. Working alongside skilled photographers, Rockwell acted as director, carefully orchestrating models, selecting props, and choosing locations for the photographs -- works of art in their own right -- that served as the basis of his iconic images. Readers will be surprised to find that many of his most memorable characters -- the girl at the mirror, the young couple on prom night, the family on vacation -- were friends and neighbors who served as his amateur models. In this groundbreaking book, author and historian Ron Schick delves into the archive of nearly 20,000 photographs housed at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Featuring reproductions of Rockwell's black-and-white photographs and related full-color artworks, along with an incisive narrative and quotes from Rockwell models and family members, this book will intrigue anyone interested in photography, art, and Americana.


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Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first book to explore the meticulously composed and richly detailed photographs that Norman Rockwell used to create his famous artworks. Working alongside skilled photographers, Rockwell acted as director, carefully orchestrating models, selecting props, and choosing locations for the photographs -- works of art in their own right Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first book to explore the meticulously composed and richly detailed photographs that Norman Rockwell used to create his famous artworks. Working alongside skilled photographers, Rockwell acted as director, carefully orchestrating models, selecting props, and choosing locations for the photographs -- works of art in their own right -- that served as the basis of his iconic images. Readers will be surprised to find that many of his most memorable characters -- the girl at the mirror, the young couple on prom night, the family on vacation -- were friends and neighbors who served as his amateur models. In this groundbreaking book, author and historian Ron Schick delves into the archive of nearly 20,000 photographs housed at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Featuring reproductions of Rockwell's black-and-white photographs and related full-color artworks, along with an incisive narrative and quotes from Rockwell models and family members, this book will intrigue anyone interested in photography, art, and Americana.

30 review for Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jemppu

    Truly a gorgeous look into the processes behind the timeless works of the master. The book displays the technical challenges of the meticulously 'directed' and composed scenes (including clever samples of staging movement on still models), shares personal notes on the stories of the depictions, and illustrates fascinatingly detailed artistic choices between stages. Wonderfully intimate and inspiring examination brings the artist and the models responsible for some of America's most iconic paintin Truly a gorgeous look into the processes behind the timeless works of the master. The book displays the technical challenges of the meticulously 'directed' and composed scenes (including clever samples of staging movement on still models), shares personal notes on the stories of the depictions, and illustrates fascinatingly detailed artistic choices between stages. Wonderfully intimate and inspiring examination brings the artist and the models responsible for some of America's most iconic paintings close to the modern viewer. I am obsessed. Few personal highlights in images (could easily be the whole book): (view spoiler)[ Dugout. An adorable classic. Sadly, no photos of "Rosie" survive, but I always loved the energy in this one more. The model's look here reminds me a bit of a certain space princess/general. One of my faves ever: Homecoming Marine. Such a gorgeously composed, intimate scene with perfect cast and tender final execution with the soft lighting <3 Girl at Mirror, gets me every time. And reading the story about the model herself (that she was actually quite a 'tomboy') has me feel some attachment to this image now too. These kids <3 acting. THESE kids (doesn't get much more Americana) *dead of cute* Composing the legendary depiction of Ruby Bridges. The skull stand-in for the dinosaur here *hah* !!! I don't think I've ever seen any of these before. So, it was Rockwell who staged the moon landings? His truly is the American scene then. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures at parkablogs.com) Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is a book that brings you behind the scenes to look at how the legendary artist uses photographs for his paintings. It's filled with paintings and the reference photographs from the Norman Rockwell Museum. Apparently, Rockwell used live models for all of his work. Every model will be meticulously costumed and posed until he could get his perfect composition. Preparing the shot almost seems like an art form itself as he tirele (More pictures at parkablogs.com) Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is a book that brings you behind the scenes to look at how the legendary artist uses photographs for his paintings. It's filled with paintings and the reference photographs from the Norman Rockwell Museum. Apparently, Rockwell used live models for all of his work. Every model will be meticulously costumed and posed until he could get his perfect composition. Preparing the shot almost seems like an art form itself as he tirelessly puts in all the details required, sometimes to the extend of staging elaborate settings, like deciding the items to display on the table behind models. Every painting is well conceived and composed in his mind even before he lays paint on canvas. If you've read any biography of him, you won't be surprised by his dedication. Included in this book is a great selection of his paintings and the photos he used, put side by side for comparison. The author Ron Schick has done a great job providing commentary to all the illustrations, through interviews with people who have worked with Rockwell. There's plenty of insight and a few lessons to be learned on posing models. You'll see what are the details Rockwell retains and those that he leaves out. This is an inspiring book recommended to all admirers of Norman Rockwell's paintings, and to artists who want to learn more on using references from the master painter.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    A fantastic book. It's a fascinating look into the methodology that produced some of the most charming and touching art of the 20th century. It's just totally cool to see these images that he used and some of the stories about how they came about. It's also remarkable how much his works reflected the changing times and yet are still relevant and poignant today. I read the book cover-to-cover, something I rarely do with non-fiction. A fantastic book. It's a fascinating look into the methodology that produced some of the most charming and touching art of the 20th century. It's just totally cool to see these images that he used and some of the stories about how they came about. It's also remarkable how much his works reflected the changing times and yet are still relevant and poignant today. I read the book cover-to-cover, something I rarely do with non-fiction.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    I bought this for my father for Christmas. And then I spent Christmas Day reading through it myself. I found it fascinating to learn how Rockwell used photography and staged his subjects so creatively to come up with the art that he then painted. The back stories from the people who posed for him were entertaining and insightful. Awesome book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    EL Core

    I love this book. It brings out Rockwell's skill as a storyteller and director of photography as well as a painter. Even if you have been a Rockwell fan for many years, as I had been, one dive into this book will make you look at his work with fresh eyes, as if seeing your favorites for the first time again. I love this book. It brings out Rockwell's skill as a storyteller and director of photography as well as a painter. Even if you have been a Rockwell fan for many years, as I had been, one dive into this book will make you look at his work with fresh eyes, as if seeing your favorites for the first time again.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    We loved our visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum last year. It was interesting to read how he used photography to create almost all of his paintings. Plus to read the backstory on many of his paintings and about the models he used.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margaret M Knepper

    A great behind the scenes look at the images and stories behind the illustrations.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alea

    I've always been a Norman Rockwell fan, I think it runs in my family on my mom's side! I remember back in high school going to an exhibit of nearly all of Rockwell's the Saturday Evening Post covers and just seeing the vast amount of work he's done and not being able to pick a favorite. Some artists create in such a way that is isolates the everyman from their work but Rockwell's work was very open to all. It touched on the high and low points of society at the time and it just makes you smile. N I've always been a Norman Rockwell fan, I think it runs in my family on my mom's side! I remember back in high school going to an exhibit of nearly all of Rockwell's the Saturday Evening Post covers and just seeing the vast amount of work he's done and not being able to pick a favorite. Some artists create in such a way that is isolates the everyman from their work but Rockwell's work was very open to all. It touched on the high and low points of society at the time and it just makes you smile. Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera was like a reintroduction to his work, seeing the photography that was used to create his paintings helps you see and appreciate it in a whole new light. I love the way the book is set up. The work is shown in chronological order showing the final painting along with up to several of the original photos and some information and quotes about the piece. More than I would have liked (especially in the Advertisements and Commercial Commissions section) only the photo is published and I would have liked the painting to be there as well, not sure why there was that change in format. It's easy to page through or read from cover to cover. The size of book (about 11.5 x 9.5 inches) allows some of the photography and paintings to be blown up quite large which is a must. One of my favorite spreads is for The Gossips which shows a chain of communication/gossip and on the second page all 30 photos are set up side by side as they are in the final painting. While Rockwell was very hands out in setting up the photo shoots, he had photographers take the picture for him and never looked through the lens himself. He actually was a model for some of the photography along with people he hired or people he just knew. It's interesting to compare the photograph with the final painting side by side. To see what elements have been changed and what was painting exactly like pictured. Overall a great book for any Norman Rockwell fan!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Brown

    This book offers great insight into Rockwell's utilization of reference photography in his work, and the love/hate relationship he had with it. I was impressed with how resourceful he was in finding the perfect props and locations to convey authenticity in the narrative he wanted to portray. It's also fascinating having the opportunity to juxtapose Rockwell's paintings against the original reference photographs he used. You get to appreciate not only the color choices he made, as film was monoch This book offers great insight into Rockwell's utilization of reference photography in his work, and the love/hate relationship he had with it. I was impressed with how resourceful he was in finding the perfect props and locations to convey authenticity in the narrative he wanted to portray. It's also fascinating having the opportunity to juxtapose Rockwell's paintings against the original reference photographs he used. You get to appreciate not only the color choices he made, as film was monochrome at the time, but also the often subtle characterizations he employed. A slight tuck of the chin here, a tweak of the posture there. All to make each character's personality resonate all the more clearly with the viewer. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested learning about the craft and care that went in to Rockwell's art.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    I saw my first Rockwell painting at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum -- it was enormous, with life-sized figures! So, when a painting of that size, with all its intricacies, is shrunk to the size of a magazine cover -- a Rockwell format I was already familiar with -- it is no wonder that the pictures are fascinating in their detail. I had always wondered how Rockwell achieved that detail -- where he found his characters -- where he found his inspiration. This book goes a long way to answerin I saw my first Rockwell painting at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum -- it was enormous, with life-sized figures! So, when a painting of that size, with all its intricacies, is shrunk to the size of a magazine cover -- a Rockwell format I was already familiar with -- it is no wonder that the pictures are fascinating in their detail. I had always wondered how Rockwell achieved that detail -- where he found his characters -- where he found his inspiration. This book goes a long way to answering those questions. Great illustrations! Interesting read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jamison

    this is one of many "look books" i pick up . .a light read with lots of images, to read quickly, but still learn from. this one shows the many pictures rockwell took to help him create the incredibly real looking paintings that he created. great care was taken to get just the right person, the right expression on the face, and the right props laid out just beyond the reach of the camera. very appealing book. this is one of many "look books" i pick up . .a light read with lots of images, to read quickly, but still learn from. this one shows the many pictures rockwell took to help him create the incredibly real looking paintings that he created. great care was taken to get just the right person, the right expression on the face, and the right props laid out just beyond the reach of the camera. very appealing book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shana

    Fascinating and beautiful book about the process Norman Rockwell used to create these iconic paintings. It was amusing to see the posed photos right next to the paintings - the photos themselves are a true work of art. Makes me want to take a trip to the Norman Rockwell museum.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Najemy

    The book provides details of Norman Rockwelll used photography to prepare his paintings, as well as his technique of projecting an image on canvas. It was absolutely fascinating to read about his process.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Don

    It's thrilling to see Rockwell's working process with photography. The focus here is on the photos so they are larger than the related paintings. I wish it was the other way around. Now I must find a book of large reproductions of his paintings. It's thrilling to see Rockwell's working process with photography. The focus here is on the photos so they are larger than the related paintings. I wish it was the other way around. Now I must find a book of large reproductions of his paintings.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Did you know almost all of Norman Rockwell's paintings were done from photographs?? He posed the actors as he wanted them, then took the picture, and painted his works based on the photos. Really neat book. Did you know almost all of Norman Rockwell's paintings were done from photographs?? He posed the actors as he wanted them, then took the picture, and painted his works based on the photos. Really neat book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Showing the meticulously-directed photographs behind Rockwell's acclaimed illustrations, this book really made me see how technology enhanced art. My only complaint was that some of the photos and illustrations weren't larger. Showing the meticulously-directed photographs behind Rockwell's acclaimed illustrations, this book really made me see how technology enhanced art. My only complaint was that some of the photos and illustrations weren't larger.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A very interesting book with some neat pictures and cool glimpses into the life of Rockwell and the way he worked. Definetely reccomended for fans of this great painter.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gaby

    Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 22, 2009)224 pages.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cindy May

    Great book. As a hobby photographer I very much enjoyed seeing how he set up the photos for what would later become an iconic painting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    i had no idea the thought and care that went into rockwell's pictures. an excellent book. i had no idea the thought and care that went into rockwell's pictures. an excellent book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    If you like Rockwell, you'll really enjoy this book. List price is high (most art books are pricey due to production costs), but I got it discounted for $19 through B&N (sale+member discount). If you like Rockwell, you'll really enjoy this book. List price is high (most art books are pricey due to production costs), but I got it discounted for $19 through B&N (sale+member discount).

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Ye

    A nice pictorial curation of Rockwell's works A nice pictorial curation of Rockwell's works

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Ferguson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lo r n a Dodge

  25. 5 out of 5

    Canavan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eftihia Lin

  27. 4 out of 5

    J.souza

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tim Thompson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cory

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