112 – War News
Unpublished painting (1943-1944)
Oil on canvas
PETER ROCKWELL: In this painting from 1944, a counterman and three customers have gathered in a corner of a diner. Look up in the top right corner. They’re listening to the radio. Obviously, something very important is being announced.
LINDA PERO: There’s a newspaper on the counter, but … there’s nothing on the newspaper because, at this point, Rockwell stopped the painting.
PETER ROCKWELL: His detailed sketches show that the paper’s headline was supposed to read: “Invasion Plan at France Possible.”
LINDA PERO: He never says why he didn’t finish the painting. … We can assume, though, that … he or the art editors at the Post felt that … the message wasn’t clear, that people wouldn’t know what was going on. They wouldn’t know what the men were listening to or hearing. … He went on to do another painting in its place of a man charting war maneuvers.
PETER ROCKWELL: The inscription reads “To Mr. Comar of the Quality Restaurant, Sincerely Norman Rockwell.” Mr. Comar is in the painting–he’s the man behind the counter. My father used to eat at his diner in Manchester, Vermont. He gave Comar this painting, and it hung in the diner until 1975.
Laurie Norton Moffatt:
LAURIE NORTON MOFFATT: For an illustrator, the finished image is actually the published magazine cover. And once the canvas has been photographed and the image produced on the magazine, the artist’s work is done. And the canvas becomes incidental in many ways.
In Rockwell’s case, … he either had the canvases returned to him or sometimes they would be enjoyed by the art editors and the employees at the magazines or the corporations for whom he did advertising work. … But sometimes he gave them to people. … And it was not uncommon at all for people who came through his studio and admired a work, for him to say, “Here, would you like it?” — and inscribe it to them and give it to them.
Spanish Adult Tour
Peter Rockwell: En esta pintura de 1944, un camarero tras el mostrador y tres clientes se reúnen en una esquina del merendero. Vea la esquina superior derecha. Escuchan la radio y, obviamente, se está trasmitiendo algo de suma importancia. Nos habla Linda Pero.
Linda Pero: Hay un periódico sobre el mostrador, pero el periódico está en blanco porque en este punto Rockwell interrumpió la pintura.
Peter Rockwell: Sus detallados bocetos muestran que el encabezado del periódico iba a decir, "Posible plan de invasión de Francia".
Linda Pero: Nunca mencionó el motivo por el que no terminó la pintura. No obstante, podemos suponer que él, o los editores artísticos del Post, opinaron que el mensaje no era claro, que la gente no sabría lo que estaba sucediendo; no se darían cuenta de lo que los protagonistas estaban escuchando. Finalmente hizo otra pintura en su lugar, en la cual un hombre examina operaciones militares.
Peter Rockwell: Tal vez allá notado la inscripción al otro extremo del mostrador.