Norman Rockwell and the Boy Scouts of America

Special exhibit on view this summer

First hired by the Boy Scouts of America to create a series of pen and ink drawings for The Boy Scout’s Hike Book, Norman Rockwell was appointed art editor of Boys’ Life magazine at the age of nineteen.  In 1916, at the age of twenty-two, Rockwell began his tenure at The Saturday Evening Post, and although he resigned his salaried position at Boys’ Life to pursue new opportunities, he continued to include images of Scouts on Post covers and in the monthly magazine of the American Red Cross.  A few years later, in 1925, Rockwell resumed work with the Boy Scouts of America, creating the first of fifty-one annual illustrations for Brown and Bigelow’s highly successful Boy Scout calendar.  This exhibition featuring original illustrations and objects from the Museum’s collection looks back at the artist’s sixty-four year relationship with this venerable organization, the longest association of his professional career.

A Scout is Helpful, Norman Rockwell. 1941. Oil on canvas, 34 x 24”. Illustration for Boy Scouts of America Calendar. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.


Born in New York City in 1894, Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. At age 14, Rockwell enrolled in art classes at The New York School of Art (formerly The Chase School of Art). Two years later, in 1910, he left high school to study art at The National Academy of Design. He soon transferred to The Art Students League, where he studied with Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgman. Fogarty’s instruction in illustration prepared Rockwell for his first commercial commissions. From Bridgman, Rockwell learned the technical skills on which he relied throughout his long career.

Rockwell found success early. He painted his first commission of four Christmas cards before his sixteenth birthday. While still in his teens, he was hired as art director of Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, and began a successful freelance career illustrating a variety of young people’s publications.


Good Friends, Norman Rockwell. 1927. Oil on canvas, 27″ x 25″. Illustration for Boy Scouts of America Calendar. Collection of the Don McNeill Family
©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.
An Army of Friendship, Norman Rockwell. 1933. Boy Scouts of America; 1933 Boys’ Life, Feburary 1934
A Good Scout, Norman Rockwell. 1935
Boy Scouts of America, 1935


There are no upcoming events at this time.


Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA     On view this summer – stay tuned for dates


Norman Rockwell Museum
is Open 7 days a week year-round

Special Holiday Hours
The Museum will be open until 5 p.m.
Dec. 23, 2019 through Jan. 3, 2020
Except: Dec. 24 and Dec. 31
(closing at 4 p.m.)

The Museum is Closed:

  •    Thanksgiving Day
  •    Christmas Day
  •    New Year’s Day

November – April: open daily:
Weekdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rockwell’s Studio is currently closed for the season.

The Runaway Café is currently closed for the season; hot & cold beverages and snacks are available in the lobby.

May – October and holidays:
open daily: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


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