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The Problem We All Live With
The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell (1964)
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts
While Rockwell explored America’s loss of innocence post World War II, it wasn’t until he moved from The Saturday Evening Post to Look magazine in the 1960s that he began to use his work to express social commentary. Whether this was due to his maturity as an artist, a natural reflection of American society or the relative freedom of expression he enjoyed at the new publication, Rockwell’s illustrations and paintings in the later decades of his life explored darker aspects of the American experience. By exploring deeper issues such as poverty and segregation, his work during this period earned him more respect from art critics.
In The Problem We All Live With, Rockwell explored segregation. The work graced the cover of Look in 1964. Note the racial slurs on the wall and the stains from thrown tomatoes, as well as the fact that the little girl is escorted to school by faceless Federal Marshals.