May 29 through January 31, 2011
“My experience on Boys’ Life helped me build some confidence in myself at a time when I needed courage, needed to believe in myself.”
2010 is the 100th anniversary year for the Boy Scouts of America. When the organization was still in its infancy, Norman Rockwell became one of their key illustrators, an important early achievement for the young man fresh out of art school. His first assignment for the Boy Scouts was to create pen and ink drawings for their Hike Book in the fall of 1912. Shortly after, at the age of nineteen, Rockwell was appointed art editor of Boys’ Life magazine, a post that required him to create imagery for the publication and supervise work delegated to other artists.
As his style matured and the Rockwell name became known, he was hired by outside publishers to compose illustrations for children’s books and periodicals. When his tenure began with The Saturday Evening Post in 1916, Rockwell left the salaried position at Boys’ Life, but continued to include Scouts in Post cover images and the monthly magazine of the American Red Cross. He resumed work with the Boy Scouts in 1924 with the production of his first of fifty-one annual images for Brown and Bigelow’s highly successful Boy Scout calendar. His connection to the group spanned sixty-four years, marking the longest professional association of his career.
Drawing upon the Norman Rockwell Museum’s archival collections, this installation offers a glimpse into the artist’s body of work for the Boy Scouts of America.