I couldn’t resist taking advantage of these iconic images for this day of Thanksgiving. So here we have Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978), one of America’s most beloved artists, left a timeless legacy of nostalgic, endearing, whimsical paintings that appealingly and insightfully depict simple, and often idyllic, scenes from daily life. After illustrating a series of children’s books at age 16, Rockwell was hired to be the art director of “Boys’ Life,” the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America. Six years later, he sold his first cover to the most prestigious magazine of the era, the “Saturday Evening Post.” Over the next 47 years, he created 321 covers for the “Post,” which became synonymous with his name. He later worked for “Look” magazine, addressing more serious issues of civil rights, poverty and space exploration.
Catch the turkey.
Cousin Reginald was both Rockwell’s scapegoat and his hero in the early covers painted for The Country Gentleman.
In all Rockwell painted fifteen covers featuring Cousin Reginald and related characters. This was the sixth in the series. Cousin Reginald was always having misfortune caused by his unfamiliarity with “country” ways. This Thanksgiving painting is no different. We know that the turkey will eventually be caught, subdued, processed and eaten. But we do not know what toll Thanksgiving will take on poor Cousin Reginald. We do not know if he will even want to eat the turkey after this trauma.
Rockwell’s turkey-hunting pilgrim from Thanksgiving 1922 is an ad for, of all things, Interwoven Socks. Our guess is that the pilgrims weren’t blessed with this brand of men’s hosiery. According to the ad, though, Interwoven Socks were something to be thankful for.
Where would America be without our beloved Norman Rockwell? What are your thoughts?
Wherever you are, have a blessed Thanksgiving.