The Peace Corps (J.F.K.'s Bold Legacy), 1966.

Rockwell repeated the simple and powerful style used in Freedom of Worship to lend impact to this painting. Knowing his strength lay in communicating ideas and feelings through facial expressions, Rockwell chose to portray faces rather than situations to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Corps. During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy proposed the idea of a volunteer organization of trained people who would be sent to developing nations in Africa and Asia to assist villagers in educational and agricultural projects. In 1961, the program which Kennedy hoped would promote understanding between nations was officially instated.

Rockwell's portrait of Kennedy is based on a Jacques Lowe photograph from his book, The Kennedy Years. Former Peace Corps workers posed for most of the figures. "In this sordid world of power struggles, politics and national rivalries the Peace Corps seems to stand almost alone," wrote Rockwell to art director Allen Hurlburt, when he sent the picture to Look magazine.

The Peace Corps (J.F.K.'s Bold Legacy), Norman Rockwell, 1966. Oil on canvas, 45½" x 36½". Story illustration for Look, June 14, 1966. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum.

The Peace Corps (J.F.K.'s Bold Legacy) (study), Norman Rockwell, 1966.

Reference photos for The Peace Corps (J.F.K.'s Bold Legacy) by Louie Lamone, 1966.