The temps may still be chilly, the sky dreary … but hey, honey – Look! Rockwell’s eye for detail was costly. He couldn’t find a budding crocus, the little flowers being the stubborn things they are. Greenhouses for miles around proved, er, infertile ground. Finally, he called a swanky New York florist who specialized in out-of-season flowers. In 1947, gasoline was 23 cents a gallon and a loaf of bread was 12 cents, a postage stamp 3 cents, and Rockwell’s special delivery from the florist: $15.50. The price of art.
Many, many artists copied Rockwell. Although the boy and dog in this cover below are “all Rockwell.” The fanciful spring fairy was Rockwell copying the style of Maxfield Parrish. A boy kissed by the first warm day of spring? Works for us.
An elementary school teacher once emailed us about this painting. She had her children making up stories about the cover, which we thought a wonderful idea, but they wanted the real story. Many folks don’t understand that the cover had nothing to do with an interior story, they were just works of art. And Rockwell, with his delightful imagination, thought it would be fun to have a sunny young lady greet a portly scarecrow on a spring walk.
Communing not only with bunnies, but geese, turtles, squirrels, and frogs is this youngster from 1927. We’re not sure where he acquired his musical gift, but we believe Rockwell got his sense of whimsy from illustrating for children’s publications such as Boys’ Life. [Editor’s note: Read more about this cover in “A Fruitful Relationship,” by Abigail Rockwell.]
It’s almost the last day of school, and the bunnies are out and about. This charming 1935 cover says it all: Springtime! Sometimes criticized for not showing the stark realism of childhood in the cities, Rockwell preferred the fanciful.
All of the spring covers shown here are available in reprints at: Art.com.