Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Spring Flowers," 1969. Oil on canvas, 30 3/8" x 25". Story illustration for "McCall's," May 1969. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Spring Flowers,” 1969. Oil on canvas, 30 3/8″ x 25″. Story illustration for “McCall’s,” May 1969. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.

A rare “still life,” Norman Rockwell’s Spring Flowers was originally a 1969 illustration for McCall’s. The artist was commissioned to paint a series of pictures of seasonal flowers, but he only completed the first. Spring Flowers appeared opposite a story on “Arranging the Flowers That Bloom in the Spring,” which described ideas for flower selection and presentation. Since he painted it in December and January, the flowers were purchased from a florist.

Since Rockwell’s wife, Molly, was an avid gardener Rockwell used her sunhat, gardening gloves, sneakers, and tools as props for the painting. Molly purchased new sneakers for the occasion, thinking her own too old, but Rockwell stained them with dirt and grass for a more authentic look. Rockwell portrays Molly’s presence without painting her directly. It is a portrait of a woman who stays in touch with nature through the medium of her garden. Including the robin as a harbinger for spring was Molly’s idea.

Buy Spring-related product in Norman Rockwell Museum’s Store… just in time for Mother’s Day!

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