Back to His Old Job by Norman Rockwell
June 14, 1919 Issue of The Literary Digest
Back to His Old Job, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Literary Digest published June 14, 1919.
The alternate title for this work is Soldier Flexing His Muscle.
This illustration was Rockwell's seventh painting featured on the cover of The Literary Digest. The Digest featured Rockwell artwork on the cover nine times total in 1919 alone.
Starting in 1918 with the first cover, Boy Showing Off Badges to the last, The Night Before Christmas in 1923, The Literary Digest featured Rockwell artwork on its cover a total of forty-seven times.
This painting also appears on page 49 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
The last reported location of the original oil on canvas painting, 32 x 28 inches or 81 x 71 cm, was Staley's Art Center.
Back to His Old Job
This cover is another of Norman Rockwell's portrayals of soldiers returning from World War I. World War I officially ended June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Many American soldiers were returning home in the weeks and months around this publication date.
Back to His Old Job was only one of 47 Norman Rockwell Literary Digest covers; here is the list of more Norman Rockwell Literary Digest scans.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
In this painting, Norman Rockwell shows us a picture of a family happily reunited after months apart from each other. Everyone is smiling.
Father still has on his army uniform: boots, leggings, pants, belt, shirt and jacket. He is flexing his bicep for his wife.
Mother is obliging Father by feeling his flexed bicep. Both of them seem to be enjoying this little exercise.
Their son is watching. In his hands, he is holding a package that is wrapped with paper and tied with string. On the package is written "OK."
It would appear that both Mother and Son held jobs while Father was serving in Europe. The pencil stuck in her hair and the delivery in his hand are the signs.
Norman Rockwell was a master at portraying currents events. Most of his viewers could relate to this painting.
Copyright © 1919 The Literay Digest and Funk & Wagnalls Company
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