Norman Rockwell, ‘The Fireman, Study for Saturday Evening Post Cover’, 1944, The Illustrated Gallery
Norman Rockwell, ‘The Fireman, Study for Saturday Evening Post Cover’, 1944, The Illustrated Gallery
Norman Rockwell, ‘The Fireman, Study for Saturday Evening Post Cover’, 1944, The Illustrated Gallery

Framed 22.00" x 19.00"

Study for cover of The Saturday Evening Post, May 27, 1944

Norman Rockwell discovered an antique gilt frame in a junk shop; the frame carved with axes, hoses, ladders, and other firefighting artifacts. Inspired by the frame, Rockwell set out to find the perfect sitter.

Shortly thereafter at a publishers party in New York City, Rockwell met Howard Lewis of Dodd, Mead and Company, New York's pioneer publishing house. Struck by Lewis's old fashioned look, Rockwell invited Lewis to his studio where he dressed him in a turn-of-the-century fireman's uniform and took his photograph. As a gesture of thanks, Rockwell gifted the photograph and the oil study for the resulting cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

includes FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SITTER, Howard Lewis, inscribed To Howard Lewis / the fireman who came to my rescue / sincerely / Norman / Rockwell, l.r.; 12 1/4 x 10 1/2 in.

About Norman Rockwell

Few artists are as closely tied to the American identity as Norman Rockwell—though the idealistic images of happy families, playful school children, and humble towns he created during his 47-year career at the Saturday Evening Post were nostalgic even in their day. “The view of life I communicate in my pictures excludes the sordid and ugly,” the artist said. “I paint life as I would like it to be.” To create these detailed slices of life, Rockwell created meticulously planned photographic studies. After leaving the Post in the 1960s, his paintings took a more political turn, and he spent the last decade of his life creating works that dealt with issues such as civil rights and the fight against poverty.

American, February 3, 1894 - November 8, 1978, New York, New York, based in Stockbridge, Massachusetts