Framed by Norman Rockwell
March 2, 1946 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Framed, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published March 2, 1946. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
Alternate titles for this painting are Man Carrying Frame, Picture Hanger and Museum Worker.
This painting was Rockwell's 237th 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 first cover for The Post in 1946. In 1946, there were seven Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The original oil on canvas painting is part of the collection of the Taubman Museum of Art.
This painting also appears in five Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
Two studies also appear in the Norman Rockwell Catalogue on page 166.
Pristine original copies of this magazine cover routinely sell for big bucks on eBay, when it is offered. And to think it only cost ten cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
In this painting, Norman Rockwell uses two familiar storytelling devices that we have seen him employ with great success in other paintings.
One such device is the picture within a picture device.
Here wee see the museum worker becoming a painting just by carrying the picture frame and framing his his face and shoulders in profile.
The other device that Rockwell fans are delightfully familiar with is the use of expressions in the paintings in the background.
All of the other three framed paintings seem to be following the framed worker. They seem to be watching his walk by them, just as if they were alive.
Framed 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.
All three paintings seem to be reacting with personality. One seems amused, one somewhat hostile and the third, the female in the left painting, intrigued.
One has to wonder if the paintings would have reacted in this manner if the worker had not been so absorbed in his work.
His singlemindedness to his job may have saved him from a nervous breakdown.
Norman Rockwell's Framed (1946)
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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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