Portrait of Jack Benny by Norman Rockwell
March 2, 1963 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Portrait of Jack Benny, a Norman Rockwell painting , appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published March 2, 1963. This is another timeless favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic for all the ages.
This painting was Rockwell's 320th overall out of 322 total paintings that were published on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell's career with the Post, spanning 47 years, began with his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 and continued through his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
This was also the second cover for The Post in 1963. In 1963, there were five Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published. One of the covers, the final Rockwell image on the Post cover, was a reprint of the 1960 Portrait of John F. Kennedy, republished in memoriam.
The original oil on board painting, 10.25 x 9 inches or 26 x 23 cm, is part of the collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum of Stockbridge, MA.
This painting also appears in four Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
Pristine original copies of this magazine cover bring good prices on eBay, when it is available. And to think it only cost twenty cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
Portrait of Jack Benny
Norman Rockwell and Jack Benny were both nervous about meeting each other.
Each had called the same mutual acquaintance, the Saturday Evening Post's Bill Davidson for help in meeting the other. Both were shy about the meeting the famous other person.
I remember Jack Benny from when I was younger.
He was a funny man who was perpetually 39 years old.
He was, or at least pretended to be, miserly with his fortune.
His most famous joke was telling about when he was robbed at gunpoint. When the robber demanded "Your money or your life", Benny's response was "I'm thinking, I'm thinking."
Portrait of Jack Benny 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.
The Post cover also features a headline about a story about Jack Benny inside this issue.
The story is about life beginning at 39, with the sub-headline reading "Back On Broadway After 32 Years."
Maybe he really did feel 39 years old after all.
Norman Rockwell's Portrait of Jack Benny (1963)
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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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