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Petition launched over controversial Norman Rockwell biography

Norman Rockwell’s 1963 painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” Norman Rockwell Museum Collections

The middle son and granddaughter of Norman Rockwell recently started a petition on Change.org seeking to convince the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge to stop promoting and selling Deborah Solomon’s controversial biography “American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell.”

But apparently museum officials aren’t budging.

“We are aware of it, and have no plans to respond,” said museum spokesman Jeremy Clowe in an e-mail to the Globe. “Norman Rockwell Museum is the central repository for information on the life and art of Norman Rockwell; the 2013 Solomon biography is one in a long line of books about the artist available at the museum.”


Attempts to contact Solomon and her publisher were unsuccessful.

Since the biography was published in 2013, members of Rockwell’s family have criticized Solomon for how she did her research and for suggesting that the famed artist may have been secretly gay and speculating that his interest in painting preadolescents “was shadowed by pedophilic impulses.”

After the online petition was posted Monday morning, more than 500 supporters backed it within two days, and many left scathing comments as well.

“We’re really getting a wonderful and heartening response,” said Abigail Rockwell, who launched the petition with her father, Thomas. “It will be interesting to see how this plays out.”