Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell

When we went to the fine arts museum this week for a homeschooling class, we got to see "The Problem We All Live With" by Norman Rockwell. Norman Rockwell has long been one of my favorite artists, and it was amazing to stand there and study this picture. There are details that you usually dont' see when you look at the picture in a book.

I copied the following from the Phoenix Art Museum's website: This work depicts Ruby Bridges, who was one of the first African American children involved in the initiation of school desegregation in the deep South during the early and middle 1960s. Ruby attended the Frantz School in New Orleans. Federal marshals were assigned to protect the six-year-old from the mob that assembled outside the school on a daily basis. For months she was the only student because of a total boycott of the school.
The Problem We All Live With was Rockwell's first image for Look magazine. It appeared as a story illustration in January 1964 and signaled the start of a new era for Rockwell. His hard-hitting pictures addressing the Civil Rights struggle were clear departures from earlier patriotic subject matter. He continued to depict social and political issues until several years before his death in 1978.
Alexandra enjoyed the picture, too, as we had studied Ruby Bridges a few months ago. I'm checking out the movie and a few books to remind her more of Ruby's story.
We also enjoyed looking at the pictures in Norman Rockwell: Storytelling with a Brush by Beverly Gherman. It was fun to try to come up with the story behind the picture.

Update: I came across an interview with Ruby Bridges on a PBS site.

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