“The Gossips” are Back in Town
“The Gossips,” one of Norman Rockwell’s most popular paintings, has returned to Norman Rockwell Museum to be displayed for a limited time.
Created by Rockwell for the March 6, 1948 cover of The Saturday Evening Post, the original painting was previously on loan to the Museum for over two decades before being sold during a record-setting auction of the artist’s work at Sotheby’s in December of this year—the loan is made possible through the generosity of the artwork’s new owner.
“We are so happy to welcome back ‘The Gossips’,” notes Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt. “The Museum is extremely grateful to the painting’s new owner for allowing us to once again share this beloved work with the public. We look forward to displaying the painting over the next few months, along with other special loans and our permanent collection of Norman Rockwell artwork.”
In addition to “The Gossips,” other recent Rockwell loans to the Museum include The Saturday Evening Post cover paintings: “Merrie Christmas (aka Man with Christmas Goose)” (1938), created for the December 17, 1938 cover and featuring the Charles Dickens character, Samuel Pickwick preparing for the holidays; “Crestwood Commuter Station” (1946), which appeared on the November 16, 1946 cover of The Post, and featured the hectic commuter rush at a railroad station in Crestwood, New York; and “Boy Making Football Tackle” (1925), which graced the magazine’s November 21, 1925 cover—all paintings are courtesy of private collections.
About “The Gossips”
Painted in 1948, Rockwell had the idea for “The Gossips” 20 years earlier but couldn’t quite get the ending until he thought to picture himself as the subject of the gossips’ circle; he used his neighbors in Arlington, Vermont as the other figures in the painting. Thousands of letters were sent to The Saturday Evening Post asking what the gossip was they were passing along, but an answer was never given. In an interview in December of 1948, Rockwell remembered that the woman who posed for the first lady in the picture, the one who had started the gossip, was still a little upset at her portrayal. Not all of his subjects were critical: one model told a reporter, “It’s more fun posing for him than going to the movies. Norman keeps you in stitches with his funny stories.”
About Norman Rockwell Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum holds the largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to the life and work of Norman Rockwell. The Museum also preserves, interprets, and exhibits a growing collection of original illustration art by noted American illustrators, from historical to contemporary. The Norman Rockwell Museum Art Collection and Norman Rockwell Archive inspire a vibrant year-round exhibition program, national traveling exhibitions, and arts and humanities programs that engage diverse audiences. The Museum’s collections, which are made accessible worldwide, are a comprehensive resource relating to Norman Rockwell and the art of illustration, the role of published imagery in society, and the American twentieth century.
Since its inception, the Norman Rockwell Museum has explored the impact of illustrated images and their role in shaping and reflecting our world through changing exhibitions, publications, and programs. Dedication to a deepened understanding of the art of illustration has led to the formation of the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies. The first of its kind in the nation, this research institute supports sustained scholarship and establishes the Norman Rockwell Museum’s leadership in the vanguard of preservation and interpretation relating to this important aspect of American visual culture.
Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The Museum is open year-round; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. From May through October, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; from November through April, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Rockwell’s studio is open May through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission is $16, $14.50 for seniors, $10 for students, $5 for kids, and teens 6 to 18, and free for Museum member, active military personnel, and children five and under. Visit the Museum online at http://www.nrm.org.