Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Day in the Life of a Little Girl 1952
The Saturday Evening Post cover, August 30, 1952
Oil on canvas
45" x 42"
Norman Rockwell Museum Collection

©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.

earn more about The Day in the Life of a Little Girl from Norman Rockwell model Mary Whalen Leonard in the video interviews below. Ms. Whalen Leonard was one of Rockwell's favorite child models, appearing in such classics as Girl with a Black Eye and Girl at Mirror.

Norman Rockwell described Mary Whalen as "...the best model I ever had. (She) could look sad one minute, jolly the next, and raise her eyebrows until they almost jump over her head."

View Mary Whalen's appearances in Rockwell's other Saturday Evening Post covers and reference photographs in the slideshow below.
About Day in the Life of a Little Girl

This lively cover illustration is a companion painting to Day in the Life of a Little Boy, published three months earlier on May 24, 1952. It would seem that painting thirty-two heads is far more work than one or two, but to Rockwell, whose forte was expressive portraiture, telling a complete story using this method could be less intensive than a cover with a detailed background. The events of the girl's day were typical for many American children, making the cover popular with large numbers of viewers. In other countries, Rockwell's Post covers were easily interpreted, and came to reflect the essence of American culture.