A framed copy of Collier's Weekly from March 1, 1919 will accompany this lot (Fig. 1).
Private Collection (acquired from the artist and sold: Sotheby's, New York, September 23, 1993, lot 294, illustrated)
American Illustrator's Gallery, New York (acquired from the above sale)
Corporate Collection, Wilmington, Delaware, 1999 (acquired from the above)
Acquired by the present owner, 2006
Nearly a year after Norman Rockwell's first Saturday Evening Post cover appeared on May 20th 1916, the United States declared war on Germany. Feeling it was his duty to enlist, Rockwell attempted to join the Navy, where he was initially rejected for being seventeen pounds underweight. Assured by a doctor that he would be accepted by gaining seven pounds, the artist stuffed himself with bananas, donuts and water and managed to make weight. Rockwell served in Charleston, South Carolina as a "landsman for quartermaster," where his duties required that he paint and varnish the insignia on airplanes. Additionally, he drew cartoons and designed layouts for the camp newspaper, Afloat and Ashore, while continuing to provide covers and illustrations for various magazines.
Rockwell's career spanned two World Wars and as a result military subjects featured prominently. Yet rather than focus on and glorify the military, Rockwell's war-linked works examine the effect on the common man and home-town America. Rockwell painted War Hero Job Hunting in 1919 for the March 1st cover of Collier's Weekly. Rockwell said, "One of the most difficult problems in painting magazine covers is thinking up ideas which a majority of the readers will understand...In wartime the problem vanishes. Everyone in the country is thinking along the same lines, the war penetrates into everyone's life" (Norman Rockwell to Tom Rockwell, My Adventures as an Illustrator, 1988, p. 114).
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