For a number of decades, graphic artist. Norman Rockwell, sent forth a large quantity of illustrations which seemed— to most Americans and most non-Americans— to capture the essence of the Republic. This was a portrayal (to a great extent emanating from the widely-read periodical, The Saturday Evening Post) involving richly observed vignettes of a population of down-to-earth and buoyant folks.
His was a muse fervently rooted in the sense of a loving extended family as the essence of efficacy. The subject here, a college boy home for the Christmas break, extends its coverage to the priority of know-how in order to thrive materially and thus anchor the gratifications of the American adventure in its pronouncedly domesticated form.
Reverence and gusto for material and emotional bounty.
A cover for Popular Science; and the subject, “Perpetual Motion,” helps cast light upon a wider, more recent context of the American Dream, one that introduces factors more compelling than wimpy fantasizing.
Those evocative powers do, I think, very much speak to “perpetual motion.” And in that, Rockwell’s paeans to middling common sense subscribe, in their own very cautious ways, to the WOW factors of this century’s very different America and world.