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Norman Rockwell is 'beginning to get angry'

Norman Rockwell is ‘beginning to get angry’

June 30, 1965: Artist Norman Rockwell poses for Los Angeles Times staff photographer R. L. Oliver at the Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park in Los Angeles. Twenty-five Rockwell paintings were on display.

In a short article the next morning, Times staff writer Eric Malnic reported:

Norman Rockwell, the self-proclaimed “nice old man” of American art, is becoming more of an “angry old man.” the artist said here Wednesday.

“For 47 years I portrayed the best of all possible worlds – grandfathers, puppy dogs, things like that,” he said.

“But times are changing now, and people are getting angry about things. I’m beginning to get angry, too.”

Rockwell pointed to two of his recent works now hanging in the Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park — an oil portrait of a Negro child being escorted to school by U.S. marshals and a water color of three civil rights workers as they were slain in Philadelphia, Miss.

“You can see what I mean,” the artist said as he compared the disquieting pair with the 23 more comfortable Rockwell works — among them his famed “Four Freedoms” series — now on display at the gallery.

Rockwell is holding his “Freedom of Speech” and hanging on the right is his “Freedom of Worship,” both completed in 1943.

This photo, along with Malnic’s article, were published in the July 1, 1965, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

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