Weighing In by Norman Rockwell
June 28, 1958 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Weighing In, a Norman Rockwell painting , appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published June 28, 1958. This is another timeless favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic for all the ages.
An alternate title for this painting is The Jockey.
This painting was Rockwell's 300th 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 1958. In 1958, there were five Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The original oil on canvas painting, 33 x 31 inches or 84 x 78.5 cm, is part of the collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art .
This painting also appears in five Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
Four studies also appear in the Norman Rockwell Catalogue on page 218.
Pristine original copies of this magazine cover sell for respectable sums on eBay, when it is offered. And to think it only cost fifteen cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
In this painting, Norman Rockwell gives an insight into the sport of horse racing.
The jockey is Eddie Arcaro. The location is the Santa Anita Race Track.
Before he goes out to mount for each race, the jockey and his saddle are weighed (weighing out).
After the race, the jockey and his saddle are weighed (weighing in).
A jockey has to let the track steward know if he is overweight before the race. The track steward then notifies the horse owner who can decline the jockey. The jockey is not allowed to race at all if he is five pounds overweight at weigh out.
The jockey cannot weigh more than one pound less at weigh in than he did at weigh out.
All these rule are apparently in place to prevent cheating and giving a horse or jockey an unfair advantage.
While at the track taking photographs for this painting, Rockwell made a two dollar wager on a race and won $140. The story goes that he spent almost his whole winnings buying refreshments for the reporters in the press box.
Weighing In 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.
Rockwell emphazized the diminutive nature of the jockey in this painting. After all, small is good in the jockey profession.
Rockwell emphasized Arcaro's smallness by portraying the track steward as hunched over beside Arcaro as he reads the scale.
Rockwell's use of bright pink on the jockey's colors, as opposed to the steward's beige suit, emphasizes that Eddie Arcaro is the central character in this story.
Norman Rockwell's Weighing In (1958)
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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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