“Deborah Solomon has created a biography as vivid and touching as a Rockwell interior. This is the definitive biography of an American master who came in through the back door.” —Steve Martin, author of An Object of Beauty “American Mirror is a masterpiece—vivid, forthright and insightful. Through superb research and keen interpretation, Deborah Solomon tells the story of an artist so many thought they knew well, and perhaps did not know at all. An epic achievement.” —Laurie Norton Moffatt, director of the Norman Rockwell Museum “Norman Rockwell turns out not to have lived in the America he invented, the republic of station wagons, Santa Claus, and good citizenship. Deborah Solomon offers up a textured portrait of the man who carried no pictures of his family and never met a therapist he didn’t like. Solomon masters foreground, background, and middle ground in this taut, beautifully written biography.” —Stacy Schiff, author of Cleopatra: A Life and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography “Norman Rockwell remains our country's most beloved, most reviled, and most misunderstood painter. In American Mirror, Deborah Solomon tells his remarkable story with uncommon intelligence and grace.” —Roz Chast, New Yorker cartoonist “Deborah Solomon has done the culture a huge favor by placing Norman Rockwell among the most important American artists of the twentieth century. She reveals Rockwell in all his contradictions—celebrant of family values but indifferent husband, self-professed New Englander but restless traveler, apolitical for most of his life but by the end a passionate believer in civil rights. This is a great biography of a singular American genius, who has long deserved it.” —Bruce McCall, New Yorker illustrator “In American Mirror, Deborah Solomon has set herself, pointillist detail by detail, to unraveling the mystery of Norman Rockwell—the friendliest of painters who turns out to be the most complex of men. This is that rarest of books: the biography as page-turner, leading you effortlessly onwards.” —Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment “Deborah Solomon’s beautiful, complex life of Norman Rockwell shows how his beloved pictures—many of which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post—expressed Americans’ hopes for the nation, even though they did not often show the real America.” —Alan Brinkley, author of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century “Esteemed art critic and biographer Solomon turns our perception of Norman Rockwell inside out in this fast-paced yet richly interpretative inquiry . . . Solomon’s penetrating and commanding biography is brimming with surprising details and provocative juxtapositions.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
Deborah Solomon is the author of two previous biographies of American artists: Jackson Pollock: A Biography and Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell (FSG, 1997). She has written about art and culture for many publications, and her weekly interview column appeared in The New York Times Magazine from 2003 to 2011. She lives in New York with her family.