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Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Museum of Art features several original Norman Rockwell paintings in its permanent collection.

The Columbus Museum of Art is also known as the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts.

Of course, the Museum has many other fine works of art in addition to these Norman Rockwell original painting. Such notable artists as Pablo Picasso, Winslow Homer, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse are all represented in the Museum's collection. The Museum also houses the largest collection of artwork by Columbus, Ohio native George Bellows anywhere.

There are many more exhibits, including glass work from Dale Chihuly.

This Museum is definitely worth a visit.

Soda Jerk

The most famous and important Norman Rockwell painting in the Museum's collection is Soda Jerk. Soda Jerk appeared on the cover of the August 22, 1953 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.
Soda Jerk by Norman Rockwell
Soda Jerk
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One of Rockwell's sons, Peter, was the model for the young man in the painting, although the painting idea was inspired by son Thomas's stint as a real soda jerk for one summer.

I conjecture that the son must be Peter, because Thomas would have been 20 years old in 1953 and the young man looks to be a teenager.

One of the young ladies in the painting went on to become a daughter-in-law in the Rockwell family.

Soda Jerk, a 36 x 34 inch or 91.5 x 86.5 cm oil on canvas painting, was given to the Museum by bequest of J. Willard Loos.

Several Lesser Known Norman Rockwell Paintings From St.Nicholas

Another Norman Rockwell painting in the Museum's collection is A First Class Argument. The caption for A First Class Argument is 'Standing by the telephone, watch in hand "you're just in time," Exclaimed Mr. Roberts'.

A First Class Argument (part 1) features Waring Rockwell, Norman Rockwell's father, as a model. This work appeared in an interior article of the May 1915 issue of St. Nicholas, a magazine for younger readers.The original is a 13.5 x 9 inches or 34.5 x 23 cm charcoal on paper.

The original artwork bears this inscription: 'Best wishes to my friend, Bill Loos. By the way my father posed for this one. Cordially, Norman Rockwell'.

A First Class Argument (Boy With Letter) is actually another work, the right half of the same picture to illustrate the story. The right half was a different illustration with a different character. A First Class Argument (Boy With Letter) is also a a 13.5 x 9 inches or 34.5 x 23 cm charcoal on paper.

Chained Lightning is also included in the Columbus Museum of Art's collection. Chained Lightning was published on page 629 of the July 1915 issue of St. Nicholas, as an illustration for an article of the same name authored by Ralph Graham Taber. The caption for Chained Lightning is '"There," he gasped, "ten leagues - west - Chilpancingo - chart - gold."' Chained Lightning is a 28 x 20 inches or 71 x 51 cm oil on canvas painting.

A painting in a more light-hearted vein, Making Good in a Boys' Camp, appeared in the July 1917 edition of St.Nicholas on page 840. It was captioned 'Percy arrived ion camp the most dressed-up lad you ever saw.' Making Good in a Boys' Camp is a 34 x 18 inches or 86.5 x 45.5 cm oil on canvas painting.

Rockwell also illustrated a very interesting and touching story written by Albert Payson Terhune. Wolf, part of the museum's collection, appeared in the April 1918 issue of St. Nicholas. The painting is a 30 x 23 inches or 76 x 58.5 cm oil on canvas treasure. The caption for Wolf reads '"What's the idea of dolling up old Laddie like that?" asked the boy.' The illustration owned by the museum appears on page 493 of that issue.

The Right to Know

Another important example of Rockwell's work, a study for The Right to Know, is also included among the museum's collection. The finished version of The Right to Know, was published in the August 20, 1968 issue of Look magazine. The study owned by the museum is a 10.5 x 18.5 inches or 26.5 x 47 cm oil on panel composition.

Norman Rockwell Visits a Ration Board

A study for a painting first published in the July 15, 1944 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell Visits a Ration Board, is also included in the collection. The study is a 20.25 x 36.25 inches or 51.5 x 92 cm tempera on board painting.

Norman Rockwell Visits a Country School

Another study for a painting first published in the Post also appears in the collection. A study for Norman Rockwell Visits a Country School is a 10 x 25 inches or 25.5 x 63.5 cm Conte crayon on paper. The finished painting appeared in the November 2, 1946 edition of the Saturday Evening Post on pages 26 through 27. The caption for the published painting was '"Spelldown. Just remember, it's i before e except after c - except for exceptions."'

Poor Richard's Almanacks

The collection also features a study for Poor Richard's Almanacks (Ben Franklin's Belles). Ben Franklin's Belles, from 1960, is a 25 x 20 inches or 63.5 x 56 cm charcoal on paper.

Portrait of Norman Rockwell

A painting of Norman Rockwell, brushes in hand, drops of paint splashing off the canvas, painting on a large canvas, is an amusing part of the museum's Rockwell collection. Portrait of Norman Rockwell is a 27.5 x 33.5 inches or 70 x 85 cm graphite and watercolor on board. The painting, from 1945, shows Rockwell looking harried while painting at his easel.

Portrait of a Russian Cossack

Portrait of a Russian Cossack, a 15.375 x 11.375 or 39 x 29 cm oil on canvas painting, is also part of the collection. This painting is a 1964 Russian travel sketch.

About Columbus Museum of Art

Museum hours are Tuesdays through Sundays 10AM to 5:30PM, Thursdays 10AM to 8:30PM. The Museum is closed on Mondays. The Museum is also closed on major holidays including New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Admission is very reasonable. Adult admission is $6, seniors admission is $4 and students admission is $4. Children 5 and under are admitted free. General admission is free on Sunday. Museum members admission is free every day.

Contact the Museum for group tours.

Columbus Museum of Art
480 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Phone (614) 221-6801

Click here to visit the museum's website.

After scouring the nation for every Norman Rockwell Museum,
these fine institutions rose to the top.

See also: Norman Rockwell Museum Overview

Norman Rockwell Museum Stockbridge Mass | Norman Rockwell Vermont

Wagnalls Museum | Smart Museum of Art | Brooklyn Museum

Sheldon Art Gallery | World of Coca-Cola | National Cowboy Museum

Rockwell Museum of Western Art | New Britain Museum of American Art

Mark Twain Museum | National Scouting Museum | Berkshire Museum

New Rochelle Library | Los Angeles County Museum of Art | Lincoln Shrine

Columbus Museum of Art | Indianapolis Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art | Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art

Corcoran Gallery of Art | National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Museum of American Illustration | National Museum of American Illustration

Phoenix Art Museum | St.Albans Historical Society

Midwest Museum of American Art | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Smithsonian Institute Museums:
National Portrait Gallery | National Museum of Natural History | National Air and Space Museum

Closed: Philadelphia | Wisconsin

Remember to check back often.

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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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Rockwell Favorites

Doctor and the Doll
Doctor and the Doll
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Santa at His Desk
Santa at His Desk
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Before the Shot
Before the Shot
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Game Called Because of Rain
Game Called Because of Rain (Three Umpires)
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Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech
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Freedom from Want
Freedom from Want
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No Swimming
No Swimming
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The Runaway
The Runaway
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Girl at the Mirror
Girl at the Mirror
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Tattoo Artist
Tattoo Artist
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Puppy Love
Puppy Love
(Little Spooners)
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Norman Rockwell Christmas and Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Galleries are open.

Norman Rockwell's painting, A Drum for Tommy or Santa with Drum, appeared on the cover of The Country Gentleman on 12/17/1921
Norman Rockwell Santa Claus
Gallery is open!

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