Anne Morgan, the inspiration for "Girl Missing Tooth", not the model
by Mary-Jean Martin Hanson
Over the years, there has been much confusion about who was the actual model for Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post Cover "Girl Missing Tooth." Anne Morgan, now the President of the Norman Rockwell Museum board, who has implied that she was the model in the iconic cover, did pose for the cover, and I believe Mr. Rockwell used her in a "study" for the Saturday Evening Post cover (oil on board 11 1/4 by 10 1/4 reproduced as #485a in "Norman Rockwell" A Definitive Catalog Vol. #1 by Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director and CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum.) Ms. Morgan was also the likely inspiration for the cover when she posed for an advertisement for Crest toothpaste and, at the time, was missing two front teeth, which Mr. Rockwell painted in for the ad. However, she was not the actual model for Saturday Evening Post cover itself. Mary-Jean Martin Hanson was the model who appeared along with Betsy Campbell (plaid skirt,) and Eleanor Stevens (plaid dress.)
As evidence, please see Mr. Rockwell's comments in "The Norman Rockwell Album" (copyright 1961 by Doubleday & Company, Inc.) where on page 158 he states "I was painting a series of advertisements for Crest toothpaste "Look, Mom - no cavities!" I asked Anne Morgan, the daughter of friends, to pose for one of the ads. When she showed up at the studio, she had two front teeth missing. It was a simple matter to paint in the teeth for the ad, but it set me to thinking. The Post cover ("Girl with Missing Tooth") was the result". He goes on to say "I did not use Anne as a model for the cover; I didn't think it would be fair to Crest. The model I did use (Mary-Jean Martin) had no missing teeth. So I had to paint "out" her teeth." Further, in Howard Books "In Search of Norman Rockwell's America" by Kevin Rivoli, Betsy Campbell Manning, one of the cover models, identifies Mary-Jean Martin as the girl with the missing tooth.
Thank you for such a wonderful contribution. We all appreciate you setting that straight. I have updated the page to reflect your revelations. Many thanks indeed and feel free to add more comments as you see fit.
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