A Hopeless Case by Norman Rockwell
January 13, 1923 Issue of The Literary Digest
A Hopeless Case, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Literary Digest published January 13, 1923.
The alternate title for this painting is Doctor Examining Doll, Girl on Couch.
The title was given to the painting by the editors of The Literary Digest.
This illustration was Rockwell's forty-third picture featured on the cover of The Literary Digest.
Starting in 1918 with his first cover illustration, Boy Showing Off Badges to the last, The Night Before Christmas in 1923, Norman Rockwell artwork was published on The Literary Digest cover forty-seven times in all.
Rockwell artwork was featured on the cover of The Digest five times just in 1923.
This painting also appears in two Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
The location of the original painting is currently unknown.
A Hopeless Case
Another amusing situation illustrated by Rockwell is this earliest version of the famous Doctor and Doll. This version pre-dates the latter by three years.
A Hopeless Case 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.
The worried "mother" of the doll sitting on the couch awaits the final diagnosis and prognosis of the patient. She has a worried look on her face.
The doctor holds the doll gingerly. The doll is missing arms, but we cannot see the condition of the legs. It is hard to see the expression of the doctor's face, but the worried expression on the girl's face says it all. The bill will be huge!
The doctor's open medical book on the desk indicates that that he is taking this examination seriously. He is at least putting up a good front. He would not want the word to get out that he can't even treat a sick doll. The other doctors might laugh and the other patients might not come.
Norman Rockwell re-examined this story in 1929 with his well known and much loved Doctor and Doll from the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Copyright © 1923 The Literay Digest and Funk & Wagnalls Company
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