Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Heart's Dearest Why Do You Cry? 1938
Story illustration for Woman's Home Companion, March 1938
Oil on canvas
32" x 18"
Norman Rockwell Museum Collection

orman Rockwell created an elegant collection of illustrations for a four-part article on the life of writer Louisa May Alcott, written by American biographer Katharine Anthony (1877-1965), appearing sequentially in Women's Home Companion from December 1937 to March 1938.

Click here to read an essay by former Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies Curator, Dr. Joyce K. Schiller, about Louisa May Alcott: Women Who Read.

See the other story illustrations by Norman Rockwell for "The Most Beloved American Writer" in the slideshow below.
About Heart's Dearest Why Do You Cry

Story and book illustration remained an important aspect of Rockwell's work through the 1930s. When Woman's Home Companion commissioned Rockwell to illustrate a biography of Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, Rockwell went to the Alcott home in Concord, Massachusetts, to "get the feel of the place."

"Sitting in her bedroom," he wrote, "where everything was just as it had been when she was alive, I had a real sense of the period; the old lamps and the lace curtains and hooked rugs and the Boston rocker took me back." In this scene from Little Women, Jo, the author's alter ego, weeps when she hears that her friend Mr. Bhaer plans to leave. 'Mr. Bhaer saw the drops on her cheeks; stooping down, he asked — "Heart's dearest, why do you cry?"