Rockwell: Tuning In

By Berridge, Robert | The Saturday Evening Post, March/April 2011 | Go to article overview
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Rockwell: Tuning In

Berridge, Robert, The Saturday Evening Post

ONE KEY TO NORMAN ROCKWELL'S tremendous success was his uniquely finetuned ability to listen to creative and constructive advice he invited from the people around him- family, friends, boss, even his models.

Friends and newcomers to his studio were greeted by the characteristically humble Rockwell with a warm welcome and hello- some undoubtedly surprised to find themselves immortalized in one of his canvases.

Two such visitors were Patricia and Donald, young adults living in New Rochelle the artist cast as models for the March 12, 1921 cover painting titled The Palm Reader.

Keeping Up with New Trends

The idea of featuring palm reading on the cover stirred some controversy in the Post editorial offices- the practice was banned in some small towns. But palm reading was a new fad, and Posf editor George Horace Lorimer asked Rockwell to give it his best shot. The final painting shows the couple at a party entertaining themselves- she traces lines on his hand, while he ponders his options (or exit strategy). Speaking of quick exits, a quick escape was certainly on the minds of the young lads hightailing it down a country road on one of Rockwell's most famous illustrations No Swimming, published June 4, 1921.

Franklin Lischke- the freckle-faced lad in the middledidn't have to go far out of his way to pose for this picture. His father owned the building in New Rochelle that the artist used as a studio. If the boy wasn't modeling, Norman found other duties for Franklin.

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