You Really Got Me, Norman Rockwell
Happy Birthday to iconic American painter Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), best known for his 322 Saturday Evening Post covers depicting humorous, often touching scenes of everyday life.
I’m continuing my “birthday clock” series. I include a clock in each illustration, and use it to convey information about the honoree.
Who’s that wafting up out of Norm’s palette pipe? Why, none other than Dave Davies, lead guitarist for British band the Kinks, perhaps best remembered for his manic guitar work on the band’s first big hit, You Really Got Me. Dave shares a February 3rd birthday with Mr. Rockwell.
My tribute contains a painful and glaring error, which I only discovered as I was writing this post. I debated whether to bang my head on the wall or laugh, then decided to do both and issue this challenge: Can you spot the error, Dear Reader? Answer at end of post.
In researching his life, I was astounded to learn that Norman Rockwell once had a bit part in a movie: the 1966 remake of Stagecoach, which starred Alex Cord in the role first made famous by John Wayne. Rockwell played a townsman. He’s shown in character for the part, below left. On right: painting in his studio, date unknown.
He became art director for Boys’ Life at age 19. His first published magazine cover was for Boys’ Life, September 1913. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the United States’ highest civilian honor) in 1977. It was given to him for “vivid and affectionate portraits of our country.”
OK, what was the error? Rockwell moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1953, and spent the rest of his life there. The Norman Rockwell Museum is also in Stockbridge. I’ve been there, and can highly recommend it.
Sturbridge, Massachusetts is home to Old Sturbridge Village, which recreates rural New England life, circa 1790-1840. Sigh…
Here’s a larger detail image of the tribute illustration:
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