Willie Gillis USO by Norman Rockwell
February 7, 1942 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
This painting by Norman Rockwell, Willie Gillis USO, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published February 7, 1942. This is yet another timeless favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic for the ages.
Another title for this painting is Willie Gillis at the USO.
This painting was Rockwell's first cover for The Post in 1942. In 1942, there were eight Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
This painting was also Rockwell's 205th overall of 322 total pictures featured on the cover of The 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.
I have seen pristine original copies of this magazine cover sell for over one hundred dollars on eBay. And to think it only cost ten cents originally! And it was in mint condition at that time, too.
The whereabouts of the original oil on canvas painting is currently unknown.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
Willie Gillis USO
This classic Norman Rockwell painting shows Willie Gillis, America's boy next door, enjoying the hospitality provided by the USO.
This is also the third in the Norman Rockwell Willie Gillis series of covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell painted eleven images that appeared on the Post cover and one illustration that was featured inside the Post.
Private Willie Gillis, Jr, is in his element in this painting.
Surrounded with a pretty girl on each side, the World War Two serviceman is in hog heaven.
Having plenty of delicious sweet treats only adds to his enjoyment.
The look on Willie's face says it all.
Willie Gillis USO 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.
It looks like one of the USO ladies is actually feeding him a cookie.
He is so excited that two cookies and his coffee spoon have slid off his plate. And he is almost spilling his coffee right out of his cup.
Willie's mouth looks like it is absolutely full of food. And it should be. These treats are probably as close to home cooking as he has eaten in several months.
Maybe ever since his Food Package arrived from home.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1942 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company
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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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