Tuesday, April 05, 2011

TAM Docents: Rockwell question answered

Hello Docents-

I promise to hold any more emails until tomorrow at the earliest but thought you might enjoy this exchange as it could be relevant to your tours.


Jana Wennstrom | TACOMA ART MUSEUM

Manager of Public and Volunteer Programs

T: 253.272.4258 x3030



American Chronicles: The Art of


February 26 – May 30, 2011


courage – family – innocence – freedom – history




From: Margaret Bullock
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 4:36 PM
To: Courtney Vowels; Jana Wennstrom; 'Susan Olds'
Subject: FW: Rockwell question


Hi all,

Please see the reply re the “toe question” below from the Norman Rockwell Museum. I hope this is not too late to help!



Margaret Bullock | TACOMA ART MUSEUM

Curator of Collections and Special Exhibitions


T: 253.272.4258 x3019

1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402




American Chronicles: The Art of


February 26 – May 30, 2011





Mary passed along your inquiry to me. Below is a related excerpt from the article, "Interesting People: The Man Who Painted our Cover this Month," which was published in the May 1921 issue of American Magazine (no page # available). I happened to have this information in my notes from a past exhibition.

From the time he finished art school Mr. Rockwell has drawn boys; and his barefoot, swimmin'-hole, country lads are familiar to every reader of magazines in this country. Country or small-town boys have a greater appeal than city boys, he says; for seventy per cent of a magazine's readers were at one time country boys, or small-town boys, and such pictures remind them of incidents in their childhood. Take such a homely thing as a toe tied up with a rag. See how it reminds people of childhood. "I get a great many letters about my pictures," he says, "and one of the things most frequently mentioned is that stubbed toe tied with a rag. 'It's the cutest thing in the picture, people write."


I hope this is helpful!



Corry Kanzenberg



Corry Kanzenberg

Curator of Archival Collections

Norman Rockwell Museum





From: Courtney Vowels
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:42 AM
To: Susan Olds; Margaret Bullock
Cc: Jana Wennstrom
Subject: RE: Rockwell question


Hi Susan—


I have recently returned from maternity leave and am making my way through a litany of emails, so my apologies for not responding to this sooner. What an interesting and curious detail! I checked in with Jana Wennstrom, our Manager of Public and Volunteer Programs, as she leads our docent corps and I thought perhaps this question might have come up there, but we are both stumped. So I am sending it on to our curator Margaret Bullock. Margaret is out of the office this week, but perhaps she will have an answer on her return.


In the meanwhile, if you’ve learned anything more, we’d be interested to hear.





Courtney Vowels | TACOMA ART MUSEUM

Director of Education

T: 253.272.4258 x3038


From: Susan Olds [mailto:susiebird2@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2011 2:32 PM
To: Courtney Vowels
Subject: Rockwell question


Hello Courtney,


My name is Susan Olds- I am an art historian and educator. I present talks for the King County Library System.

In March I am presenting 5 lectures on Rockwell as a preview for your excellent exhibit opening this month.


I have one question that is more of a curiosity- in many of Rockwell's illustrations of boys, the figure frequently has a bandage wrapped around his big toe.

It is a recurring motif and I wonder if anyone at the museum is similarly puzzled. I read his autobiography and had no luck finding an answer.


Any answers out there?



Susan Olds


A bird sings not because it has answers but because it has a song.


Post a Comment

<< Home