Boy On HighDive by Norman Rockwell
August 16, 1947 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Boy On HighDive, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published August 16, 1947. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
This painting was Rockwell's 247th 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 fourth cover for The Post in 1947. In 1947, there were seven Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The original oil on canvas painting, 35 x 27 inches or 89 x 68.5 cm, is part of the collection of noted Norman Rockwell collector, Steven Spielberg. It was included in the 2010 exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of American Art. The exhibit, Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, showcased fifty-seven major Rockwell paintings and drawings and explored the connections between American culture as depicted in Rockwell's paintings and in the movies.
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 ten cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
Boy On HighDive
What are you afraid of?
We can almost hear the shouts of the friends of this boy, portrayed by Norman Rockwell's youngest son, Peter. After all, it's monly twenty feet.
Peter says that his father told him to climb the ladder and crawl out to the end of the board and look afriad. Peter had no problem looking afraid, because he was terrified.
Twenty feet does not look so high when you are looking up at the board. But it looks way up there when you are looking down from that height.
Boy On HighDive 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.
Steven Spielberg says that he bought this painting to keep in his office to remind him that oftentimes that which we are afraid of really shouldn't engender fear. And also all we have to do is just to jump and all the fear will melt away.
But, as they say, that first step is a doozy.
Norman Rockwell's Boy On HighDive (1947)
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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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