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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.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    12th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,873

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