A Drum for Tommy by Norman Rockwell
December 17, 1921 Issue of The Country Gentleman
A Drum for Tommy, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Country Gentleman published December 17, 1921.
The alternate title was Santa with Drum.
The Country Gentleman was published by Curtis Publishing Company. The masthead billed it as "The Oldest Agricultural Journal in the World." Curtis Publishing also published The Saturday Evening Post
This illustration was the thirty-third Country Gentleman cover by Norman Rockwell. Rockwell painted a total thirty-five covers for The Country Gentleman starting in August 1917, the first Cousin Reginald cover, and continuing through April 1922.
A Drum for Tommy
If you have seen much Norman Rockwell art, you already know the truth about Santa. The truth is that no one paints a more realistic or more festive Santa Claus than Rockwell.
This painting is more proof of that truth.
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.
Almost every year, Rockwell painted at least one more Santa Claus illustration. By 1921, The Saturday Evening Post was Rockwell's preferred venue for his paintings. Both The Post and The Country Gentleman were published by the same company, Curtis Publishing.The publishers must have decided that this painting was a better fit for The Gentleman than for The Post. Either that, or they were trying to boost The Gentleman with a Norman Rockwell Santa cover.
In this painting, Santa Claus is visiting a home on Christmas Eve Night. He is holding something in each hand. In his right hand, he has a small stocking with a note attached. The note reads:
In his left hand, Santa is holding a drum. The name tag on the drum says "TOMMY." How does he do that? It has to be magic!
Also, on his left arm, is his magic bag of toys. Other toys are visible poking out the top of the bag.
This is Rockwell's Santa Claus at his best. A nice extra touch is the sprig of holly behind his ear .
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