October is National Arts and Humanities Month

Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With, Park West Gallery

TITLE: “The Problem We All Live With”

ARTIST: Norman Rockwell

DATE: 1963

WHY WE CHOSE IT: Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting is cited in President Barack Obama’s Official Proclamation declaring October 2011 as National Arts and Humanities Month. In part:

Norman Rockwell’s magazine covers are classic and recognizable portrayals of American life. A longtime advocate of tolerance, Rockwell was criticized by some for a painting now hanging steps from the Oval Office — ‘The Problem We All Live With.’ Inspired by the story of Ruby Bridges, this painting depicts a young girl being escorted to her newly-integrated school by United States Marshals. Today, the portrait remains a symbol of our Nation’s struggle for racial equality.

Like Rockwell’s painting, art in all its forms often challenges us to consider new perspectives and to rethink how we see the world. This image still moves us with its simple poignancy, capturing a moment in American history that changed us forever. This is the power of the arts and humanities — they speak to our condition and affirm our desire for something more and something better. Great works of literature, theater, dance, fine art, and music reach us through a universal language that unites us regardless of background, gender, race, or creed.

SOURCE: Norman Rockwell Museum