|Source: NY Daily News June 9, 2016|
Still, I was surprised to see Norman Rockwell, an artist I always associate with Massachusetts, The Saturday Evening Post and WWII. It turns out that Norman Rockwell was born right here in the Bigh Apple at 206 West 103rd Street (FYI: don't bother to Google the address, his building is gone and replaced by a newer one). And thanks to some very persistent high school students from Edward R. Reynolds West Side High School, who campaigned and petitioned their Community Board and City Hall, Norman Rockwell has received his street honorific designation.
After seeing the sign last Thursday, I started thinking about Rockwell and his paintings. And that led my thoughts to Willie Gillis. Willie Gillis is a series of paintings Rockwell did for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Willie was actually based on a real person, Robert Buck, who passed away in 2011. There are 11 paintings all together, following Willie from new recruit through the war and finally a college man studying under the G.I. Bill, though only eight were on the cover. You can read all about how Willie became Rockwell's model HERE.
The Willie Gillis painting are some of my favorite Rockwell paintings. *sigh* I look at them whenever I need to remember that no matter how bad things may get, we will get through them.
I thought I would share the covers with you today:
If you are ever in the Stockbridge, Massachusetts area, be sure to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum, it's a wonderful place to spend some time in and it's even kid-friendly. The museum also posts videos on their YouTube channel, which you can find HERE
Below is a talk give on YouTube called Private Passion: Rockwell, Willie Gillis, and American Obsession in World War II presented by James Kimble, PhD, a professor at Seton Hall University. It is 37 minutes long, but well worth watching.