Google doodles a Rockwell

To celebrate the birthday of artist Normal Rockwell, Google adorns its home page with a wistful Rockwell painting.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

While Google continues on its march toward the difficult marriage of omnipotence and righteousness, its choices of birthdays to celebrate become ever more eclectic and lovable.

Google has already created visual remembrances of artists such as Andy Warhol and Edvard Munch and Rene Magritte. And on Wednesday, the search engine's home page enjoyed the decoration of "Little Spooners," a painting by Norman Rockwell, who would have been 116 on February 3, had he not succumbed to emphysema in 1978.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Rockwell's work captured an America in which people seemed happy, purposeful, and actually liked each other. This meant, of course, that in his lifetime, he was treated as little more than a naive, sentimental doodler.

Rockwell created covers for the Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than four decades, and his work now fetches millions of dollars. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have Rockwell originals hanging on their walls to remind them how nice and heroic American life really can be. And you surely cannot get more heroic or more American than George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

It is heartwarming, also, that this lovely symbol of detente seems to be appearing in so many places around the world. Yes, even on the home page of Google in China, Google.cn. Well, at least it was. While I caught the above screenshot at about 8:50 a.m. PST, the Rockwell has now disappeared from the Google China home page. (It is also not on Google Korea or Google Japan).

Oh, I hope that it didn't cause Google more trouble. I hope it didn't get, well, censored. Surely, we can all get along, can't we?