'In Search of Norman Rockwell's America' is great collection

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008

“In Search of Norman Rockwell’s America,” by Kevin Rivoli. Simon & Schuster. 2008. 128 pp. $24.99.By Mary Rice Patterson
For the Salisbury Post
Most people remember fondly Norman Rockwell’s paintings as they regularly came out on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
“Common places never become tiresome. It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative. We find that it is not a new scene that is needed but a new viewpoint.” Norman Rockwell made that statement himself more than 70 years ago but the point he made is still relevant today
This collection has been put together by Kevin Rivoli, an award-winning photographer. “I’ve learned from Rockwell and his work that life isn’t always about moving to new places to find new things and it isn’t about having the biggest and the best or the most. Life … real life is about looking at, appreciating the simple things right in front of us. Rockwell had his own style that he made popular in that he made it his mission to celebrate the ordinary.
“I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might have not noticed.”
He often painted from staged photographs he had personally choreographed of the images of life experiences going on in the world around him.
Rivoli has done with photography what Rockwell did with painting by embracing and enjoying the simple things in life.
In this book Rivoli captures the same scene and has placed it opposite Rockwell’s painting along with a quote from a famous person such as Andy Williams, Jack LaLanne, Regis Philbin, Richard Petty, Dr. Phil and Debbie Reynolds. He also includes an excerpt from former President Jimmy Carter, which tells of Norman Rockwell being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award.
“His work often shows the very best of American values and captures the quintessential American spirit that lives in each of us.”
Rivoli had a great idea in compiling this collection and has done a great work. It would make a great Christmas gift for anyone and could be displayed on his or her coffee table, as every guest will enjoy it.
Mary Rice Patterson of China Grove enjoys reading.