The Census Taker by Norman Rockwell
April 27, 1940 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
The Census Taker, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published April 27, 1940. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
An alternate title for this painting is Census-taker.
This painting was Rockwell's 193rd overall out of 322 total paintings that were published on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell's career with the Post spanned 47 years, from his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
This was also the second cover for The Post in 1940. In 1940, there were seven Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The original oil on canvas painting, 39.125 x 31 inches or 99.5 x 78.5 cm, is part of a private collection.
This painting also appears in four Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
Pristine original copies of this magazine cover routinely sell for big bucks on eBay, when it is offered. And to think it only cost five cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
The Census Taker
In this painting, Norman Rockwell once again shows us why he is America's favorite artist.
Rockwell always painted topical subjects and this painting was no exception.
Here we see a 1940 census worker taking a count of the people in this household.
The red haired lady is counting on her fingers the names and number of her red haired children.
The Census Taker was only one of 322 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers; Here is the list of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
We can see five children's faces peeking out from behind mother. We can also see one eyeball peeking between mother and two other children.
Another topical hint in the painting is the census worker's rain coat and umbrella. Appearing in April, the painting reminds the reader about "April showers" also.
Norman Rockwell's The Census Taker (1940)
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Norman Rockwell Quotes:
I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I'd like to.
No man with a conscience can just bat out illustrations. He's got to put all his talent and feeling into them!
Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I've always called myself an illustrator. I'm not sure what the difference is. All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life.
Right from the beginning, I always strived to capture everything I saw as completely as possible.
The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.
I can take a lot of pats on the back. I love it when I get admiring letters from people. And, of course, I'd love it if the critics would notice me, too.
You must first spend some time getting your model to relax. Then you'll get a natural expression.
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