In her five-hundred page biography of Norman Rockwell, “American Mirror,” Deborah Solomon, former columnist for the New York Times Magazine argues for the importance of Rockwell’s work, which is often dismissed by the art world as low-brow schmaltz.

But, she also implies Rockwell may have been gay, writing the artist “demonstrated an intense need for emotional and physical closeness with men,” and that his marriages may have been a strategy for “controlling his homoerotic desires.” Though Solomon is careful to note there is no evidence Rockwell ever had sex with men, her suggestions about Rockwell’s sexuality have enraged Rockwell’s surviving family members. Abigail Rockwell, said the book’s portrait of her grandfather as a “closeted homosexual” is “dangerously becoming fact.”

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