Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) Rockwell Book, Man with Pipe and Ideas, Editor: Three 3 1/4 x 3 5/8in, 3 1/8 x 2 5/8in, 3 1/2 x 1 7/8in respectively
Lot 1122
Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) Norman Rockwell Book Illustrator, A Good Idea Inspires Norman Rockwell, Magazine Editor: Three sight 3 1/4 x 3 5/8in, 3 1/8 x 2 5/8in, 3 1/2 x 1 7/8in
Sold for US$ 6,875 inc. premium
Lot Details
Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
Norman Rockwell Book Illustrator, A Good Idea Inspires Norman Rockwell, Magazine Editor: Three
first initialed 'n / r' (lower right)
pencil on paper
sight 3 1/4 x 3 5/8in, 3 1/8 x 2 5/8in, 3 1/2 x 1 7/8in

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    with Merrill Chase Galleries, Chicago, 1979
    Private collection, Illinois
    Private collection, Arizona

    LITERATURE:
    Laurie Norton Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue Volume II, Stockbridge, MA 1986, p.915-919, no.B348, B364, B369, illus. p.915, 918, 919.
    Arthur L. Guptill, Norman Rockwell Illustrator, New York, 1975, illus. p.101, 195, 194.

    A copy of Arthur L. Guptill's Norman Rockwell Illustrator accompanies the lot.

    Norman Rockwell Illustrator was first published in 1946 when Norman Rockwell's popularity was already well established. In producing the book Norman Rockwell, Illustrator, Arthur L. Guptill worked closely with Norman Rockwell, who illustrated over one hundred drawings to fill the book's margins. To this day, most of the drawings' whereabouts remain unknown which count the three illustrations in this lot among the few that have surfaced on the market.

    In the first drawing, entitled 'Norman Rockwell Book Illustrator', Rockwell humorously depicts himself outsized by the book he draws on, perhaps demonstrating the immense task that an illustrator faces when commissioned to do book illustrations. Norman Rockwell illustrated only a handful of novels in his lifetime, likely due to the fact that for each book, Rockwell dedicated much time and study to the story and the characters before ever setting pencil to paper. Before drawing the story of Tom Sawyer, Rockwell went so far as to visit the town of Hannibal, Missouri, the birthplace of Mark Twain, in order to better understand the original setting of the story.

    Most of the drawings can be interpreted as short vignettes demonstrating the challenges and triumphs of an illustrator's life, and since Rockwell is typically the main subject, the drawings can feel semi autobiographical at times. In the second drawing, Rockwell shows how the desk of a 'Magazine Editor' can appear like an intimidating hurdle from the perspective of a young illustrator presenting his work. For the final drawing, Rockwell illustrates the joyful moment when 'A Good Idea Inspires' which is amusingly demonstrated with ringing bells in his head. The three drawings in this lot exhibit the willingness with which Rockwell could place a humorous but critical eye on himself and his life journey as an illustrator.
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