The images of America's most popular illustrator, Norman Rockwell, have been reproduced more than those of any other artist. His iconic portrayals of Americana have illustrated 322 Saturday Evening Post covers, 49 Boy Scout calendars, and dozens of other periodicals, children's books, and advertisements.
Norman Rockwell was born in New York City in 1894 and moved with his family to the Brown Lodge, a boarding house on Prospect Street in New Rochelle in 1912. He lived and worked in a number of New Rochelle sites including his last home, an attractive house that is still located at 24 Lord Kitchener Road.
He used New Rochelle as a backdrop and its residents as models for much of his work during the 25 years he lived here. The four Rogge sisters, whose mother owned a candy store on North Avenue, all modeled for Rockwell, as did the three Barnett boys. Edward Carson, the son of a well-known jeweler in town starred on Boy Scout posters. Charles A. King was the youngster peering through a spyglass in the August 19, 1922 cover, Setting One's Sights. New Rochelle high school girls scheduled posing sessions with Rockwell as they would babysitting jobs.
Rockwell's art achieved tremendous popularity during his New Rochelle years. Not only did he become one of the best-known illustrators of the day – he was also a familiar and beloved figure around town. He was forever scouring the city for ideas, model and props to compose his pictorial vignettes. “Some of my happiest years were spent in New Rochelle,” Rockwell told a Standard Star reporter when he returned to the city for a visit six years before his death in 1978 at the age of 84.
Another daily reminder fo Rockwell's legacy stands at the corner of Eastchester Road and Pelhamdale Avenue. It is one of the city's 10 charming entrance signs that were created by prominent local artists as a project of the New Rochelle Art Association in the 1920s.
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Related locationsNY, Westchester Co, New Rochelle
Related peopleNorman Perceval Rockwell