Norman Rockwell : Home for the Holidays : Saturday Evening Post Covers : Blog #32

Christmas Homecoming, 1948

Christmas Homecoming by Norman Rockwell 1948

Christmas Homecoming appeared on the December 25th, 1948 edition of the Saturday Evening Post. The original oil on canvas is owned by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

It was also Norman’s seventh and final cover for the year.

This painting shows Norman Rockwell’s son Jarvis (Jerry) coming home from college for Christmas. The woman hugging him, is his mother, Mary Barstow Rockwell. To the left is Thomas Rockwell, and to the left of him (wearing glasses) is Peter. Norman Rockwell himself is also in the painting – smoking his pipe.

The redhead behind Peter is Mead Schaeffer’s daughter, Patty. If you remember, Patty was Norman’s model for the Willie Gilli’s series.

Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays Traveling Exhibit, prepared by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has been extended until January 24th. Make sure you stop by the Fick Fossil and History Museum before it’s gone for good!

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Norman Rockwell : Home for the Holidays : Saturday Evening Post Covers : Blog #30

Tired Salesgirl on Christmas Eve, 1947

Tired Salesgirl on Christmas Eve by Norman Rockwell 1947

The alternative title to this piece is “Christmas Rush”

Tired Salesgirls on Christmas Eve appeared on the December 27th, 1947 cover of the Saturday Evening Post. She was Norman’s 7th of out seven covers in 1947.

A private collector owns the original 30 1/4 inch by 28 inch oil on canvas.

If you look very carefully, her pin contains a watch which reads “5:05” – I’m sure she is happy 5 o’clock has finally arrived!

Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays Traveling Exhibit, prepared by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has been extended until January 24th. Make sure you stop by the Fick Fossil and History Museum before it’s gone for good!

Norman Rockwell : Home for the Holidays : Saturday Evening Post Covers : Blog #28

Happy New Year, 1945

Happy New Year by Norman Rockwell

The alternative title to this painting is, “Party’s Over

Happy New Year, was the 10th cover work for Norman and the Saturday Evening Post.

The lone man in the painting, is the waiter, looking at the huge mess he now how to clean up. This was the first “New Year” after the end of World War II. The waiter was portrayed by Anton Ashenbrenner.

The original oil on canvas’ location is unknown.

Norman Rockwell : Home for the Holidays : Saturday Evening Post Covers : Blog #25

Union Station Chicago, 1944

Union Station Chicago by Norman Rockwell 1944

Also known as “Train Station at Christmas

This artwork was featured on the December 23rd, 1944 edition of the Saturday Evening Post.

The original oil on canvas is housed in a private collection and measures approximately 32 inches by 25 inches.

When Norman painted this picture, he had begun to use photographs to paint from, instead of having models stand for hours on end.  A very special someone is painted into the middle of the painting.

Norman Rockwell : Home for the Holidays : Saturday Evening Post Covers : Blog #24

Williw Gillis: New Year’s Eve

Willie Gillis: New Year's Eve by Norman Rockwell

This painting by Norman Rockwell, appeared on the January 1st, 1944 edition of the Saturday Evening Post. This was his first cover of 1944, he had a total of nine covers that year.

This cover was also the 9th cover in the Willie Gillis series.

Norman’s classic “New Year’s Eve” shows Willie’s faithful girlfriend sound asleep on New Year’s Eve. She is portrayed by Rockwell as the All-American girl many servicemen wish they had waiting for them at home. On her bed is a note that appears to be from her sweetheart, the envelope is on the floor, showing Willie’s name and return address APO.

Willie’s girlfriend was modeled by Mead Schaeffer’s daughter Patty.

Norman Rockwell : Home for the Holidays : Saturday Evening Post Covers : Blog #22

Merry Christmas: Santa Face in Newspaper, 1942

Merry Christmas: Santa Face in Newspaper by Norman Rockwell 1942

The alternative title for this artwork is “Santa’s in the News!” – appeared on the Saturday Evening Post on December 26th, 1942.

Santa’s in the News! was Norman’s 8th Saturday Evening Post Cover to feature Santa Claus.

This 1942 edition of the newspaper is full of bad news. If you look at the print, you see several words like Hitler, Bomb and War. The United States was deep into World War II during December of 1942. However, Santa and the thought of the holidays breaks through all the madness and sadness in the daily news.

Don’t forget! Norman Rockwell’s, Home for the Holidays, an exhibit prepared by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is only display for another week!

Who is Willie Gillis?

(we interrupt our Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays: Saturday Evening Post Covers: Series to bring you this fun fact filled post about Norman Rockwell’s Willie Gillis Series)

So…

Who is Willie Gillis?

Willie Gillis (his “real name” is Willie Gillis, Jr.), was a fiction character created by Norman Rockwell for a series of World War II themed illustrations. He appeared on eleven covers of the Saturday Evening Post. Beloved followers saw Willie’s career through the war, without ever seeing him depicted in battle.

Willie Gillis and his girfriend, were modeled by two of Norman’s friends. Many believed that he was actually a real person. This was at the height of Norman Rockwell’s popularity, with over 4 million people receiving the Saturday Evening Post. During this time, the Saturday Evening Post received letters from subscribers concerned for Willie’s safety and well-being during war time.

The series started on October 4th, 1941 and continued through the September 16th, 1944 issue.

Willie Gillis Food Package by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis Food Package – October 4th, 1941.

Willie Gillis: Home Sweet Home by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis: Home Sweet Home – November 29, 1941

Willie Gillis: USO by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis USO – February 7th, 1942

Willie Gillis: Hometown News by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis Hometown News – April 11th, 1942

Willie Gillis Blackout by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis Blackout – June 27th, 1942

Willie Gillis: In Church by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis In Church – July 25th, 1942

Willie Gillis: Girls with Letters by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis Girls with Letters – September 5th, 1942

Willie Gillis: Cat's Cradle by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis Cat’s Cradle – June 26th, 1943

Willie Gillis: New Year's Eve by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis New Year’s Eve – January 1st, 1944

Willie Gillis: Gillis Family Heritage by Norman Rockwell

Willie Gillis Family Heritage – September 16th, 1944.

Willis Gillis in Convoy (1943) was a depiction of Gillis close to the battlefield – this artwork was not featured on the cover but inside the magazine.