Norman Rockwell And Life Magazine
Life magazine cover showcased Norman Rockwell art from 1917 through 1924.
Norman Rockwell illustrations graced the cover of the weekly magazine twenty-eight times during those seven years.
Also during this time period, Rockwell was fast becoming a nationally recognized artist. His work on a broad range of magazine covers was contributing to his growing fame.
His subject matter for these covers concentrated mostly on humorous themes. Politics and humor were the main subjects presented in Life. Norman Rockwell was therefore a perfect fit for the magazine.
From World War I to Peacetime and Beyond
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Norman Rockwell only painted one composition for Life before the Great War began. This was a humorous piece entitles Tain't You.
Rockwell then painted fifteen covers for Life magazine dealing with World War I subject matter. A wide range of stories were told, ranging from soldiers leaving home to servicemen in Europe to the girls waiting for the boys to come home. The last cover that I consider related to World War I conveys the idea of a soldier adjusting back to civilian life.
Two of Rockwell's War-related paintings for Life were also used for covers for sheet music. Those two were Good-bye, Little French Mother and Over There.
Other Norman Rockwell Favorites in Life Magazine
In addition to Rockwell's World War I paintings, the Life cover also featured several others of my favorite illustrations.
Also of note, one of his many Thanksgiving paintings appeared on the cover.
Lastly, one of my favorites is the last Life cover Rockwell painted. This one shows a Girl Scout with Daniel Boone in the background.
About Life Magazine
Life Magazine actually led two lifes, one from its birth in 1883 and one from 1936 when Henry Luce bought rights to the Life name.
Life's founding publisher, John Ames Mitchell, was a 37 years old when he started the magazine. An illustrator, Mitchell used a $10,000 inheritance to launch the weekly magazine. This original version was a general interest light entertainment magazine, concentrating heavily on illustrations and jokes, with social commentary sprinkled throughout.
That later Life never published a Rockwell painting on its cover. That incarnation was a photograph journalism magazine, and so, had no reason to feature Rockwell artwork on its cover. However, many advertisements featuring Rockwell artwork were published in that version of Life. The advertisers knew the value of Rockwell's ability to tell a story with a painting.
See the complete list of Norman Rockwell art that has appeared on or inside of Life Magazine. The list includes links to our exclusive content featuring scans of Norman Rockwell Life covers.
The low cover price of ten cents made the magazine affordable to all but the poorest readers. What a great deal to get a beautiful work of art for ten cents! Even when the last Rockwell cover was published, the price was only fifteen cents.
Many of the Rockwell illustrated Life magazine covers that appear on Best Norman Rockwell Art .com were purchased at auction on eBay. When shopping on eBay, keep in mind that the depth and breadth of selection of Norman Rockwell magazine covers, not just Life, varies from week to week. Watching week to week has taught many seasoned collectors patience. Patience will reward you with what you seek.
Remember to check back often.
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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