This large format book is very well illustrated in both colour and monochrome. There are 100 plates of which all but two are in full colour, in addition the are about a further 60 monochrome illustrations; the majority of these monochromes are reproductions of pencil or charcoal drawings or sketches. Most interestingly the section of plates is arranged chronologically, providing a good visual record of the artist's progress spanning many years from around 1914 to the 1970s. Covering a period from a time when the automobile was a rarity to the landing of man on the moon, the work also chronicles a society in change.
The text is disappointingly very minimal, restricted to the Preface, two and a half pages about the artist's life and career by Tom Rockwell, the artist's son; there is almost as much information on the dust jacket! There is no index or any further information.
Beautifully illustrated with a broad spectrum of Rockwell's output, The Best of Norman Rockwell includes the very familiar, the less familiar and the never before seen. However I feel the presentation could have been considerably better, especially for an artist whose work was intended predominantly for the printed page. The typography for the Preface is crude, and the yellow background and clumsy layout for the thirty pages of monochromes do nothing by way of enhancement. These failings cheapen what might have been a true quality production.
on 11 May 1998
The first time I heard about Rockwell was from a French Popular Song. Since then, I was dying to discover his world and I found this book. It was a lovely one just made for me. If I have to criticize the book, well, I would say it lacked a little bit of <<unity>> of themes presented, and hoped there were more of his works.. Anyway, I would say it was terribly interesting.