Perhaps the works most reflective of this quality are found in Rockwell’s covers for The Saturday Evening Post
. From 1916 to 1963, given the latitude to devise his own scenarios for the covers, Rockwell often chose to spotlight amusing situations. Before the Shot
depicts a young patient scrutinizing his doctor’s medical license prior to receiving an injection. The knowing glances cast in the Just Married
drawing in this gallery leaves little to the imagination. No Swimming
(in the adjacent gallery) depicts a prim young lady averting her eyes from a pond filled with disrobed young men.
Cherished for his ability to touch the hearts of people of all ages, Rockwell allowed Americans to smile during difficult times. Cognizant of the barrage of gloomy headlines from newspapers and radio, he chose to aid millions of Americans in a way no one else could. 81 of the 83 Post covers painted by Rockwell during the span of the Great Depression were filled with overt messages of optimism, hope, and humor. With a wink and a nod, Norman Rockwell proved he was the right man in the right place at the right time.