Dashed Dream

Three high school cheerleaders left dumb-struck after their basketball team loses a close game.
Losing the Game — which appeared on the cover of the Post on February 16, 1952 — recently sold at Sotherby’s for $4.5 million. (© SEPS) Get it framed at Art.com.

For Norman Rockwell, nothing was more exciting than the drama of everyday events. In “Losing the Game,” he captures a scene that could have taken place in any town USA. The home team lost by one point. Seats are empty. Even the janitor is walking off court. The only ones left are the three stunned, disappointed cheerleaders. In this simple setting, Rockwell demonstrates his mastery of technique and composition. Note how the parallel lines created by the gymnasium’s floor direct attention to the trio of cheerleaders who appear in triangular composition — all drawing viewers into the central scene so everyone can experience the moment. Rockwell once wondered, “How will I be remembered? As a technician or artist? As a humorist or a visionary?” Safe to say all of the above.