120 – Portrait of John F. Kennedy

120 – Portrait of John F. Kennedy

Norman Rockwell
c. 1960
Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post (1960)
Oil on canvas

Cultural Connections

When Rockwell painted John F. Kennedy’s portrait for the Saturday Evening Post, his goal was to portray the Senator as a youthful, charismatic, strong leader, and used this reference photo. Graphic designer, Donald Wilson, had a challenge similiar to Rockwell’s when creating Kennedy’s 1960 presidential election campaign poster. The Republican Party’s argument against Kennedy was that he did not have the experience to be president. Kennedy felt a more serious, mature photo of himself should be used but Wilson convinced Kennedy the smiling image was better. This poster was produced in the millions.

Reference photo for 'Portrait of John F. Kennedy'

Reference photo for ‘Portrait of John F. Kennedy’

John F. Kennedy presidential campaign poster'

Reference photo for ‘ John F. Kennedy presidential campaign poster’