Gramps Skating by Norman Rockwell
February 19, 1921 Issue of The Country Gentleman
Gramps Skating, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Country Gentleman published February 19, 1921.
The Country Gentleman was published by Curtis Publishing Company. Curtis Publishing also published The Saturday Evening Post.
This illustration was the twenty-sixth Country Gentleman cover by Norman Rockwell. Rockwell painted thirty-five covers for The Country Gentleman starting in August 1917, the first Cousin Reginald cover, and continuing through April 1922.
Gramps is showing off again!
Throughout our tour of Rockwell magazine covers, we have seen grandfathers having good times and generally acting as young as they feel. Starting with Gramps at the Plate, Rockwell has good-naturedly placed Gramps in humorous situations. This has allowed Gramps to demonstrate that experience generally trumps youth. And trumps it with a smiling face.
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.
And Gramps is certainly enjoying his demonstration here.
The look of pure joy on his face says it all. The young boys circled around the small farm skating pond all have looks of awe on their faces. And Gramps is eating it up!
He has just executed a half circle, and he is now skating with one leg high off the ice. He is using a stick held in his inside hand to help with balance. It's possible that we are just looking at the back half of a figure 8, which would be even more difficult on a small farm pond.
Gramps is dressed warmly. After all, it is the middle of the winter. My favorite part is the hat with ear flaps down. His long white hair is still showing around that hat.
The children gathered around the pond are really enjoying Gramps' show. Some already have their skates strapped on and are looking intently as if to pick up skating tips.
One boy is trying to rein his dog who has lunged out onto the ice after Gramps skated by. We certainly wouldn't want Gramps or the dog injured in a collision. Especially not if Gramps owns the pond!
Gramps looks almost as if he is grinning and pointing at the viewer. Does he want you to try the figure 8? How good would Gramps have been if year-round indoor ice skating had been available in his day? Especially with the inspiration of modern-day skaters, Rockwell may have painted Gramps doing a Axel or toe loop. Those kids' jaws would be dragging the ground with a display of talent like that .
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