Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Property Sold to Benefit the Hillman Family Foundation
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)

Tender Years: Mowing the Lawn

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Tender Years: Mowing the Lawn
signed 'Norman/Rockwell' (lower right)
oil on canvas
18 x 18 in. (45.7 x 45.7 cm.)
Painted in 1957.
The artist.
Brown & Bigelow, St. Paul, Minnesota, commissioned from the above, circa 1957.
ACA Galleries, New York.
Judy Goffman Fine Art/American Illustrators Gallery, New York.
Private collection, acquired from the above, 1995.
Gift to the late owner from the above.
L.N. Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, vol. I, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, p. 323, no. A150, illustrated.
J.G. Cutler, L.S. Cutler, Norman Rockwell’s America…In England, Newport, Rhode Island, 2010, pp. 136, 215, illustrated.
Tokyo, Japan, Odakyu Museum; Fukushima, Japan, Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art; Osaka, Japan, Daimaru Museum, Umeda-Osaka, The Great American Illustrators, April 21-November 8, 1993, pp. 109, 132, no. 82, illustrated.

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Annie Rosen
Annie Rosen

Lot Essay

From 1948 through 1964, Normal Rockwell was commissioned by Brown & Bigelow to illustrate their annual Four Seasons calendar. The calendars focused on a single theme and Rockwell’s four illustrations presented various seasonal activities. Tender Years: Mowing the Lawn was included in the 1957 calendar as the summer illustration. The winter illustration depicts the male figure admiring a newly acquired calendar under his wife’s watchful gaze, spring presents the wife tending to her sick husband and autumn shows the pair unpacking moth-riddled clothes from an attic trunk. In each image the couple's black and white cat is playfully engaged.

The male model in the Tender Years series was Bob Henderson, head of the creative department at Brown & Bigelow. Henderson was instrumental in developing the concept of the Four Seasons calendar, and he also worked closely with Rockwell on the Brown & Bigelow Boy Scouts of America calendar, one of the artist’s longest and most admired campaigns.

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