Interesting article from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/06/rockwell.ap/index.html
I've always had more than a healthy dose of respect for Rockwell, and I'm glad to see he's undergoing a re-evaluation. Not only is he possessed of a dazzling technically virtuosity, but the world he inhabits is genuinely warm and sincere, if, yes, sometimes a little kitschy. But so what?
Although he's always called an illustrator (more often than not as an all-purpose term of dismissal), why not view him as inheriting the tradition of genre painting? Put them side by side, and who wouldn't look at Rockwell's work and see echoes of great, great painters like Chardin, Terborch, or Jan Steen?
Rockwell, The Homecoming Marine
Jan Steen, The Feast of St. Nicholas
Gerard Terborch, The Glass of Lemonade
Chardin, The Soap Bubble
Need I say more?