Norman Rockwell Museum: Stop Promoting & Selling a Fraudulent Biography of Norman Rockwell
This petition had 4,166 supporters
Were Norman Rockwell alive this book would be libelous, Deborah Solomon would be sued, and his Museum would not endorse or sell the book under any circumstances.
Norman Rockwell is my grandfather; the family spent every magical Thanksgiving and Christmas with him in my childhood. But to people around the world he is an American icon, his art continues to be a beacon of the promise of the goodness in people and the hope for a better America and world around us. Let’s join our voices and rescue his Museum and his legacy. Please sign our petition to convince the Norman Rockwell Museum to stop misleading the public by promoting and selling the now debunked 2013 Rockwell biography by NYC art critic Deborah Solomon, “American Mirror”. You may be thinking – it’s just a book, what does it matter? This is about much more than a book, it’s about Norman Rockwell’s work, legacy and the true story of the man. We can’t let the truth be subverted like this by his own Museum – the Museum that he helped to establish, the Museum that he left his large collection of work, his studio and archives to, and the Museum which bears his name. Let’s stand together and right this wrong.
My father, Thomas Rockwell, the middle son of American illustrator Norman Rockwell – the former manager of the Norman Rockwell Family Agency for almost 40 years and co-author of his autobiography – and I are asking for your help. We have sought every reasonable avenue to convince the CEO, Laurie Norton Moffatt, and the executive Board to stop promoting and selling this fraudulent book.
Another leading illustration museum, the National Museum of American Illustration, refuses to sell the book, knowing how inaccurate and falsified the biography really is.
It is remarkable that the Norman Rockwell Museum Board and its director/CEO have publicly endorsed a biography that is not only riddled with errors, but worse, falsely labels Norman Rockwell as a “repressed” pedophile with homoerotic inclinations – sensational and invented accusations calculated to tarnish Norman Rockwell’s legacy, not enhance it. If that is “free speech” or “scholarship” it is irresponsible free speech because the book’s accusations are entirely unsupported and unsupportable. But the Museum continues to mislead the public and its members through the ongoing sale and promotion of this book.
This is not about censorship. As many who have followed me on The Huffington Post, The Saturday Evening Post and my “Rescuing Norman Rockwell” Facebook page know – I don’t believe in censoring the truth – in fact I have been fighting for the truth for almost three years since this book was published.
This is not a matter of opinion, these are the facts. I went to the primary sources and did a lengthy investigation – journals, obituaries, news stories, insurance letters, New Yorker articles, personal letters, and so on – and discovered that Deborah Solomon had falsified every source I checked. I traveled to the New Rochelle Public Library to look through the microfilm and to the Norman Rockwell Museum Archives. My 64 page detailed breakdown and analysis of the errors and omissions in the Solomon book is in the NRM Archives.
As Patrick Toner, Wake Forest University Associate Professor, determined in his review, "False Portrait" on firstthings.com: “(It) is a book without merit.”
The Board of the Museum and Laurie Norton Moffatt have remained silent since my two articles in The Huffington Post, “Deborah Solomon’s Disaster and How She Duped So Many” (July 2014) and “Autopsy of a Fraud” (February 2015). They refused to even speak to Art News about the controversy. The employees of the Museum are not allowed to talk about the book.
Norman Rockwell scholars and Illustration experts have spoken out against this biography: Roger Reed of Illustration House; Laura Claridge, author of “Norman Rockwell: A Life” (2001); Professor Patrick Toner; Bruce Cole in The New Criterion and many others.
Abigail and Thomas Rockwell
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