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Norman Rockwell in the 1940s McKinley Presidential LIbrary & Museum

Norman Rockwell in the 1940s: A View of the American Homefront

Exhibition of original tearsheets featuring 44 Rockwell illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post.

Norman Rockwell in the 1940s: A View of the American Homefront will open in the Keller Gallery of the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum on Thursday, March 24 with a free opening reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, catered by Buehler’s. 

It is a traveling exhibition from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Many of Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers during the 1940s were inspired by life on the American Homefront during World War II.

Rockwell’s powerful Four Freedoms, unforgettable Rosie the Riveter, exuberant Homecoming Soldier, and hapless but lovable infantryman, Willie Gillis are among the many memorable images contained with this exhibition of original tearsheets featuring 44 Rockwell illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post.   

“We were scheduled to open this exhibition in June 2020,” said Executive Director Kim Kenney, “but it was postponed due to our closure for COVID-19.  After two long years of waiting, we are thrilled that we are finally able to host this exciting exhibition for our community.  Everyone loves the art of Normal Rockwell.  It is so accessible, and it really showcases a slice of 20th century American life.  Rockwell’s work is truly where art meets history.”

This also marks the first in-person exhibition opening celebration the Museum has had since January 2020.   

The exhibition will incorporate related artifacts from the Museum’s collection, including a civil defense helmet and armband, WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and WAAC (Women’s Army Corps) dolls, and a Red Cross uniform. 

“We are featuring a living room scene with artifacts from our collection, including a console radio donated by longtime member Jim McVay, who passed away in December 2020,” said Kenney. 

“Mr. McVay remembered listening to war news in front of the radio when he was young, so we have recreated news broadcasts, FDR Fireside Chats, and popular music from that era to play ‘on the radio’ in his memory.” 

Norman Rockwell in the 1940s will be on view through June 11.  



REQUIRED PHOTO CREDITS:

Media sponsorship has been provided by Curtis Licensing, a division of The Saturday Evening Post and The Norman Rockwell Family Agency. Please include the Curtis Licensing logo with images in print.  

Rosie the Riveter
Cover of The Saturday Evening Post,
May 29, 1943
Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collection
©1943 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN All rights reserved. wwwcurtislicensing.com

Freedom from Want
Illustration for The Saturday Evening Post,
March 6, 1943
Norman Rockwell Museum Collection
©1943 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN All rights reserved. wwwcurtislicensing.com

Willie Gillis: USO
Cover of The Saturday Evening Post,
February 7, 1942
Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collection
©1942 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN All rights reserved. wwwcurtislicensing.com

KELLER GALLERY ARCHIVES