Voice of the people: Gary Holtman

May 17, 2013 12:16:08 PM

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'Re-inspired' by Norman Rockwell 

 

I have just completed reading ''Norman Rockwell's Faith in America" with text by Fred Bauer for the umpteenth time. I am not an "aficionado" of the arts; however, no American can ever pick up this book and not feel better about this country by the time he or she has finished with it, even in these times, considering what this country has gone through in the past several years, and, certainly, in the past few months and weeks. My wife and I visited Rockwell's home and studio in Stockbridge, Mass., a few years ago. 

 

Rockwell is quoted as saying, "It would be difficult to paint individuals who have lost their faith. I could sketch the outline of their faces, but, the inner glow that gives them character would be missing. His painting, "Freedom of Worship, 1943," which appears to show people of various faiths, and, possibly, of no faith worshiping, with the caption, "Each according to the dictate of his own conscience," is certainly appropriate for this time in our history.  

 

Then, there's "The Golden Rule from the Post Cover, April 1, 1961, with the quote, ''Do Unto others as you would have them do unto you." Again, a powerful message, showing many different persons. Then there's "Willie Gillis in Church, July 5, 1942." The second World War, a war in which I lost four first cousins in Germany, was just getting started. Willie has a somber expression, appropriate for the times. 

 

Thankfully, finally, that war was over, and the Oct. 5, 1946, cover shows civilian Willie in college under the GI Bill. 

 

Rockwell's paintings give us quite an insight to the good people of this nation and, probably the world over if their leaders were not constantly trying to get someone else to do their dirty work. They are called leaders because they are suppose to lead, not send. 

 

Gary Holtman 

 

Columbus