Boy at Barber by Norman Rockwell
August 10, 1918 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Boy at Barber, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published August 10, 1918.
An alternate title for this painting is The Haircut.
This painting was Rockwell's thirteenth overall picture out of 322 total featured on the cover of The Post. Rockwell's career with the Post spanned 47 years, from his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
This was also the third Rockwell cover in 1918. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover four times in 1918.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is not known.
This painting has reproduced in three Rockwell commentary books, as illustration 64 of Norman Rockwell's America by Christopher Finch, as illustration 109 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner and on page 77 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
I have seen original copies of this magazine cover in pristine condition sell for well over one hundred dollars on eBay. And it only cost a nickel when it was new.
Boy at Barber
Once again, Norman Rockwell exposes us to another childhood ritual. This time we are privy to a boy's first haircut.
Rockwell features three characters in this painting.
First, and least interesting, is the barber. Rockwell always painted in meticulous detail.
Whether the model was an actual barber or not, he is posed just as an actual barber would be. His hands are positioned correctly.
Next is the boy in the barber's chair. By the length of his hair, this must be his first haircut ever.
The boy is grinning broadly. He must be watching his shearing in the barbershop mirror.He has probably tired of having such long hair and is glad to get rid of it.
The boy's mother watches from behind.
Boy at Barber was only one of 322 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers; Here is the list of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
She must not be entirely ready for this milestone. She is shedding a tear. She is covering her mouth with a handkerchief so her soft sob will not be heard by either the barber or her son.
Her little boy is growing up.
She cannot stop that any more than she can stop the wind or stop his hair from growing.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1918 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company
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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?
Norman Rockwell Quotes:
I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I'd like to.
No man with a conscience can just bat out illustrations. He's got to put all his talent and feeling into them!
Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I've always called myself an illustrator. I'm not sure what the difference is. All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life.
Right from the beginning, I always strived to capture everything I saw as completely as possible.
The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.
I can take a lot of pats on the back. I love it when I get admiring letters from people. And, of course, I'd love it if the critics would notice me, too.
You must first spend some time getting your model to relax. Then you'll get a natural expression.
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