The Organ Grinder by Norman Rockwell
July 31, 1920 Issue of The Country Gentleman
The Organ Grinder, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Country Gentleman published July 31, 1920.
The Country Gentleman was published by Curtis Publishing Company. Curtis Publishing also published The Saturday Evening Post.
This painting was the twenty-third Country Gentleman cover by Norman Rockwell. Rockwell illustrated thirty-five covers for The Country Gentleman starting in August 1917, the first Cousin Reginald cover, and continuing through April 1922.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is unknown.
The Organ Grinder
Rockwell takes us back to yesteryear with this painting. He continues showing us the life of country children.
1920 was a simpler time. Children then were not as sophisticated as children now. Most children of 1920 had never seen a monkey. None had television.
This painting was only one of 34 Norman Rockwell Country Gentleman covers; here is the list of more Norman Rockwell Country Gentleman scans.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
The organ grinder in this picture is shown smiling and grinding his organ. No musical talent is required to be an organ grinder. Here is more about how the organ works.
The real objects of this painting, however, are the monkey and children and their interaction.
The monkey, dressed in his red suit, appears to prefer the safety of the top of the organ. He is holding his masters bandana with one hand. He is extending his begging cup with the other.
One of the children, the biggest, is giving the monkey a coin. This boy seems to have no fear of the monkey.
The little girl is cringing. She is obviously apprehensive about the monkey. She has probably never seen one before.
The smaller boy is standing a safe distance from the monkey. He doesn't appear to be afraid of the monkey. Then again, boys aren't supposed to appear afraid, are they .
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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?
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