36
36

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JOAN B. KROC

Norman Rockwell
1894 - 1978
BOYS AND GIRLS FIRST AID WEEK (SCOUT BANDAGING GIRL'S FINGER)
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 2,965,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
36

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JOAN B. KROC

Norman Rockwell
1894 - 1978
BOYS AND GIRLS FIRST AID WEEK (SCOUT BANDAGING GIRL'S FINGER)
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 2,965,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Art

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New York

Norman Rockwell
1894 - 1978
BOYS AND GIRLS FIRST AID WEEK (SCOUT BANDAGING GIRL'S FINGER)
signed Norman Rockwell (lower right)
oil on canvas
28 1/4 by 24 1/4 inches
(71.8 by 61.6 cm)
Painted in 1926.
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Please note that an original copy of the Bauer & Black advertisement featuring Boys and Girls First Aid Week accompanies this lot.

Provenance

Dr. David C. Milton, by 1986
Joan B. Kroc, La Jolla, California, circa 1990
By descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, The Fort Lauderdale Museum of the Arts; Brooklyn, New York, Brooklyn Museum; Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art; San Antonio, Texas, Marion Koogler McNay Institute; San Francisco, California, M.H. De Young Memorial Museum; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Art Center; Indianapolis, Indiana, Indianapolis Museum of Art; Omaha, Nebraska, Joslyn Art Museum; Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective, February 1972-April 1973 (probably)

Literature

Youth's Companion, April 29, 1926
The Saturday Evening Post, May 1, 1926
Dr. Donald R. Stoltz, Marshall L. Stoltz and William F. Earle, The Advertising World of Norman Rockwell, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1985, p. 21, illustrated in color
Laurie Norton Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, vol. I, no. A33, p. 264, illustrated; also illustrated in color p. 26

Catalogue Note

Norman Rockwell painted Boys and Girls First Aid Week in 1926 as part of an advertising campaign for Bauer & Black, a leading American medical supplies company. The image, which depicts a young Boy Scout bandaging the finger of an injured girl, was used to promote Bauer & Black products such as bandages and gauze pads. The advertisement also celebrated American First Aid Week, which occurred from May 1-8 of that year. Seeking to promote its products and to encourage awareness of the event, Bauer & Black donated $10,000 in awards to be given to the children who completed the best first aid.

As the only advertisement Rockwell created for the company, the present work is a remarkable example of the artist’s genius for subtle but highly effective marketing. His ability to sell a product by integrating it seamlessly into a compellingly idealized world made him a favorite of the industry. By the mid-1920s Rockwell's aesthetic was almost synonymous with new brand promotion. Appearing in such prominent publications as Collier’s Weekly and The Saturday Evening Post, the poignant images he produced for many of the country’s most familiar companies and products came to set the standard for other artists of the age, and helped to influence the purchasing habits of millions of Americans.

Boys and Girls First Aid Week
displays the artist’s classic form of advertising: charming scenes infused with warmth and nostalgia that showed Americans the best versions of themselves. Here Rockwell utilizes the image of the Boy Scout to project an idea of America’s youth as brave and dedicated, willing to take the time to help a young girl in need. Remembering that his ultimate goal was to promote Bauer & Black, however, Rockwell positions an assortment of medical supplies prominently in the foreground of the scene. Meticulously painted with exacting detail and vibrant highlights, the first-aid kit immediately engages the viewer. The more expressive and painterly application of paint the canvas displays is typical of Rockwell’s early work, but his characteristic ability to render the naturalistic details of a scene is simultaneously demonstrated in such elements as the Scout’s sturdy brown shoes, the girl’s sweetly flushed cheeks, and the fur of the dog that sits loyally by and watches the action of the scene.

Images of the Boys Scouts of America pervade Rockwell's body of work. His relationship with the organization began early in his career when he was commissioned to create images for a Scout hiking manual in 1913. By 1915 Edward Cave, the editor of Boy’s Life—the Scout's new magazine—hired Rockwell as the art editor of the publication. In addition to the personal admiration Rockwell held for the Scouts and the role the organization played in shaping the lives of the country’s youth, the image of the Boy Scout performing acts of civic duty was consistent with Rockwell’s romanticized aesthetic. He executed a wide range of images for the organization over the course of his career, from story and cover illustrations in books and periodicals to calendar art. Between 1923 and 1976 he painted every Boy Scout Calendar illustration with the exception of two.

American Art

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New York