531 – Norman Rockwell Portrait of Ann-Margret

Norman Rockwell Portrait of Ann-Margret

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Portrait of Ann-Margret 1965
Movie poster study for Stagecoach, 20th Century Fox
Oil on canvas
Norman Rockwell Museum Collection

Audio commentary by Stephanie Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator of Norman Rockwell Museum and
Jesse Kowalski, Curator of Exhibitions of Norman Rockwell Museum

Speaker 1: Norman Rockwell of course was a wonderful portrait painter, he could really capture the likeness of just about anybody and so for that reason he was often called upon to paint portraits of celebrities whether they were from the world of Hollywood or from politics but in fact he painted many of the most well known figures of his day.

And there’s one terrific comparison in the exhibition that looks at the very famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol and pairs it with a portrayal of Ann Margaret which Rockwell did just two years earlier in 1965. When he was working on the movie poster for a remake of the movie Stagecoach for Twentieth Century Fox.

The first Stagecoach had been done in 1939 but in the 1965 version there were 10 very famous stars all of whom Rockwell got to paint on location for the most part. He did some beautiful impressionistic portraits of each of the stars. Whether it was Ann Margaret or Stephanie Powers, Mike Connors, Red Buttons, many well known people of the day. They were done in costume and in very dramatic poses and certain ways, looking out at the viewer. But when Rockwell suggested that the portraits he painted on location be used in the poster, he was told that in a way he was the victim of his own success and was asked to actually to do the more finished portraits that he was known to do for other publications.