600 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
An Evening with Author Deborah Solomon
5 pm Reception with wine for purchase, Loctite Lobby
6 pm Deborah Solomon in conversation with Robin Jaffee Frank, Krieble Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Erin Monroe, Assistant Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture
A book signing with the author follows the talk. American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell will be available for purchase in the Museum Shop and during the event. This event is free and open to the public.
As the star illustrator of The Saturday Evening Post for nearly half a century, Norman Rockwell is celebrated for his wholesome depictions of family and community, but the man behind these images was a surprisingly complex figure. In her latest biography, renowned art critic Deborah Solomon draws on a wealth of unpublished letters and documents to explore the relationship between Rockwell’s despairing personality and his genius for reflecting America’s brightest hopes.
In American Mirror Solomon perceptively explores Rockwell and his art alongside the development of visual journalism as it evolved from illustration in the 1920s to photography in the 1930s to television in the 1950s. In this engaging biography, she offers vivid cameos of the many famous Americans whom Rockwell counted as friends, including President Dwight Eisenhower, the folk artist Grandma Moses, the rock musician Al Kooper, and the generation of now-forgotten painters who ushered in the Golden Age of illustration. American Mirror brilliantly explains why Rockwell deserves to be remembered as an American master.
“[A] well-paced, insightful biography of the iconic illustrator . . . Solomon reveals an enormously complicated man whose wholesome vision of America was not merely commercial kitsch, but art that sprung from an emotional life fraught with anxiety, depression, and self-doubt . . . [Solomon’s] substantive narrative captures the abundant complexities of this unusual artist, and reclaims him as a master storyteller.” —Publishers Weekly
“Deborah Solomon has created a biography as vivid and touching as a Rockwell interior. This is the definitive biography of an American master who came in through the back door.” —Steve Martin, author of An Object of Beauty: A Novel
About Deborah Solomon: Deborah Solomon is the author of two previous biographies of American artists: Jackson Pollock: A Biography and Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell. She has written about art and culture for many publications, and her weekly interview column, “Questions For,” appeared in The New York Times Magazine from 2003 to 2011. Her art reviews currently appear on WNYC Radio, and she lives in New York City with her family.