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Lot
58377

NORMAN ROCKWELL (American 1894 - 1978) . Willie Gillis: New Year's Eve, 1943, original Saturday Evening Post cover p... (Total: 3 Items Item)

2007 December Illustration Art Signature Auction #677

 
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Auction Ended On: Dec 12, 2007
Item Activity: 5 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Description:
NORMAN ROCKWELL (American 1894 - 1978)
Willie Gillis: New Year's Eve, 1943, original Saturday Evening Post cover preliminary drawing, with a Group of 2 reference photos
Graphite on paper
Image area: 5 x 4in.; overall paper size: 11 x 8-1/2in.
Not signed
A group of two black and white reference photos is also included in this lot.

A "Willie Gillis"-themed cover scene based on this preliminary study appeared on the January 1, 1944 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Norman Rockwell based the character of Willie Gillis on the real-life person of Bob Buck. Susan E. Meyer recounts the backstory of this scene in her text for Norman Rockwell's World War II: Impressions From the Homefront, "Although he had been exempted from the draft, Bob Buck felt he could not simply stay at home while a war was going on. To his dismay, Rockwell lost his Willie Gillis in 1943, when Buck enlisted as an aviator in the Navy." The story is picked up in Rockwell's 1960 autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, "No! said the editors of the Post. You can't drop him; he's too popular. Which posed a problem. I didn't have a model. All I had were old photographs of Bob Buck. I painted Willie's girl faithfully sleeping at midnight on New Year's Eve, three photographs of Willie tacked on the wall above her bed." On a side note, one of artist Mead Schaeffer's lovely daughters was the model for Willie's girl.

Provenance:
Collection of Mr. Donald Walton

Condition Report*:

The pieces average Excellent condition.

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