Norman Rockwell- The New Rochelle Years



Born in Manhattan in 1894, Rockwell spent his childhood in a variety of boarding houses in the New York are a , including Mamaroneck . By the age of 17 Rockwell had illustrated his first children’s book, Tell Me Why Stories. The same year his family moved to Brown Lodge, at 39 Pro s p e c t Street, New Rochelle.
The family’s new community was the consummate location for the budding illustrator. New Rochelle was, at the time, home to many of the country’s leading illustra t o rs who supplied the essential covers for the popular magazines of the day. He would live and work in New Rochelle for the next 25 years, in various homes and studios from the south end of the town to the north.
Rockwell achieved tremendous popularity during his New Rochelle years. His detailed renderings affectionately captured typical, homespun America and its people which struck a mighty chord that resounded across the country. Not only did he become one of the best-known illustra t o rs of the day—he was also a familiar and beloved figure around New Rochelle.With great admiration for his friends and neighbors, Rockwell was forever scouring the city for ideas, models 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 New Rochelle for a visit in 1972. He died six years later, on November 9,1978, at the age of 84.


ROCKWELL CHRONOLOGY

1894 Norman Rockwell is born on Amsterdam Ave. & 103rd Street, New York City.
19 04/05 Norman, his father, mother and brother Jarvis move to Mamaroneck

1913 The Rockwell family moves to Brown Lodge, 39 Prospect Street, New Rochelle.
Norman rents his first studio on second floor of Covelly Building, above a dry cleaners (now Schmuckler's Cleaners) 360 North Ave.
Rockwell and artist Clyde Forsythe rent Frederic Remington’s former studio on
Webster Ave.

1915 or 1916 Norman and his family move to Edgewood Hall, off Webster Ave. where he meets, then marries, Irene O’Connor

1916 At the age of 21, Rockwell sells his first cover to The Saturday Evening Post.


1921 to 1926 Norman rents the top of a garage owned by George Lishke at 40 Prospect Street. At some point, after renting an apartment in a house at 218 Centre Avenue, he buys a
cottage on Premium Point. 1926 Rockwell and his wife Irene “ buy” a house at 24 Lord Kitchener Road from Irving Hansen. He later builds a studio next to the house.

1929 Norman and Irene divorce.

1930 Norman marries Mary Barstow and they start a family while living in the house at 24 Lord Kitchener Road.

1939 Rockwell and wife and three sons move to Arlington, VT.

Text and images: Barbara Davis, New Rochelle Public Library
Designed by: Harquin Creative GroupNorman Rockwell's New Rochelle Years, was part of the inaugural exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Culture, a program of the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence.

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