The Hitchhiker by Norman Rockwell
November 30, 1940 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
The Hitchhiker, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published November 30, 1940. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
An alternate title for this painting is Hitchhiker to Miami.
This painting was Rockwell's 197th 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 sixth cover for The Post in 1940. In 1940, there were seven Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is not known.
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.
In this painting, Norman Rockwell shows us a popular way to travel and see the America during a simpler time.
Hitchhiking was a fairly common practice for a long time. I remember my father giving rides to people during the 1960's.
Nowadays the practice is considered dangerous for all concerned, the rider and the person giving the ride. Of course that is not so when you know the rider.
This young hitchhiker is looking for a ride from anyone who will give it. All he really cares about is the destination, Miami, Florida.
This young man looks almost lazy to me, but perhaps you consider him relaxed.
He is not standing at the side of the road with his thumb out. He is reclined and playing his ukulele.
The Hitchhiker 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.
He has shed his shoes and is in his stocking feet.
Our only clue that he is hitching is the thumb paintedon his case and the word "MIAMI" beside it in large white letters.
Smoking his pipe, relaxed in the sunshine, waiting for a free ride to his chosen destination: he sure has it made, doesn't he?
Norman Rockwell's The Hitchhiker (1940)
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Do you have a personal story about this painting? Do you know the model personally? Do you have a different take on the commentary?
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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