Oh, all right, I confess: I didn’t really read Johnson’s “History of the American People,” skipping around in it instead. But I did just read every word of your own appreciation of Rockwell, Terry, and it carried me back. When I was trying to figure out which college to attend, my father, stuck driving me all over New England, used the occasion to see as much Rockwell as he could. We had lunch at a diner in Vermont specifically to spend time studying the Rockwell that hung behind the counter, we stopped at a couple of museums with big Rockwell collections, and we went downstairs to the tap room of the Princeton Inn to gaze at the mural of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” I particularly remember “Breaking Home Ties.” My father, a painter himself, stood in front of it for what must have been a quarter of an hour, studying Rockwell’s craftsmanship.
Another underappreciated painter: N.C. Wyeth. (Terry, I’ll expect you to post an essay on Wyeth by the close of business today.)