Norman Rockwell

May 23, 2013

Unwanted Rockwell's - 50 Years Young

50 Years Young

A new exhibit is opening at the World of Coke today called American Originals - Norman Rockwell & Coca-Cola.  You can read more details about the exhibition in a post I wrote for Coca-Cola Journey.  As noted in that story, the Archives was fortunate to recently acquire seven pieces of Norman Rockwell original art that was created by the artist as part of four ad or calendar concepts.  Amazingly, all four were turned down by The Coca-Cola Company.  While we do not know the full story on each of the seven pieces, over the next few months, I will highlight one of the pieces of art at a time in a blog post on this site to create a virtual exhibit for those around the world who can not get to Atlanta to see the exhibition in person.

The first piece of art is the one we know the least about.  This beautiful sketch is matted in a manner that suggest that Rockwell was proposing to use it as the 1936 calendar or with additional copy as a print ad.  Rockwell had already provided art for four calendars, but in this case, the Company chose to go with the beach scene painted by N.C. Wyeth for the 50th anniversary calendar. ^TR

13 1/2” x 10 1/2”, crayon and charcoal on paper
Study for proposed Coca-Cola advertisement for 1936:
50th Anniversary Campaign
50 Years Young,  Time tested. Taste Proven

September 12, 2012

Norman Rockwell's America

I am excited and plan attend a preview of the new exhibit, Norman Rockwell's America at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  The exhibit will open to the public on September 16th and features more than 52 original paintings and all 323 vintage Saturday Evening Post covers visually chronicling the evolving landscape of American culture and society from 1916-1969. In addition to the original exhibition, the Birmingham Museum of Art will display a supplemental collection, on loan from our Archives, to highlight the historical relationship between Norman Rockwell and Coca-Cola. One featured work, entitled Three Boys Fishing,(photo above) is a loosely painted conceptual study for a Coca-Cola advertisement. Highlighting a lighthearted moment of leisure, Norman Rockwell illustrates three young boys rejoicing as they ‘catch’ a bundle of Coca-Cola bottles in the pond where they are swimming and fishing. After Coca-Cola passed on the idea, Rockwell substituted the bottles for fish, and the illustration was published as the July 18, 1937 cover of The Week Magazine and subsequently for a 1939 Brown & Bigelow calendar. If your travels take you near Birmingham, Alabama between September 16 and January 6, 2013, make sure to check out the exhibition. ^TR
April 20, 2012

Antiques Roadshow and the missing Coca-Cola Rockwell paintings

W0563[1]Last August, the crew from WGBH's Antiques Roadshow filmed in our Archives (photos from shoot at bottom of post.)  The episode about our three Norman Rockwell paintings that are "missing" from our collection aired on Monday, April 23rd at 8:00 PM on PBS. You can watch the segment here.  Rockwell created six paintings for The Coca-Cola Company between 1928 and 1935.  Four of these were used for calendars and two were done for print advertising or billboards.  The Archives has three of these original paintings in our collection, two of which were acquired in the last 10 years, but the other three are still missing. As you will see on Antiques Roadshow's "Most Wanted" segment on air and on-line, the three paintings are: Wholsome Refreshment “The Old Oaken Bucket” -- 1932 - A boy sitting on a well with a small wooden barrel of bottles of Coca-Cola in his lap. “Wholesome Refreshment” -- A 1928 sepia tone magazine ad for The Saturday Evening Post in which a smiling young man in a sweater and knickers lounges with a Coca-Cola. In the background, adults are dressed in their finest 1920s attire and children are playing. A legend at the bottom of the ad declares, "8 million a day." W3047[1]“Office Boy – 4 p.m. – The Pause That Refreshes” -- A 1930 outdoor poster in which a smiling boy, dressed in a suit and tie and carrying a tray with two bottles of Coca-Cola and two bell-shaped glasses, is opening a door that says 'Vice President.' If you have any information about the missing paintings, post a message and how to contact you in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you! Lelia and Mark 1 Mark Ted and Adam Film Crew Monitor  
August 09, 2011

Antiques Roadshow Films In The Archives

Ted Pontificating Last Saturday, the team from the popular public television program, Antiques Roadshow were in Atlanta filming for upcoming 2012 episodes.  While over 6,000 people brought their items to the Roadshow appraisal area to be reviewed, the Roadshow team sent a film crew to the Archives to record a segment.  The segment will focus on the three missing Norman Rockwell Coca-Cola paintings.  While Rockwell painted six for the Company, we only have three of the works and have been searching for the other three (Wholesome Refreshment, Office Boy, and Old Oaken Bucket) for decades.

Lelia and Mark 3 First, host Mark Walberg and noted appraiser Lelia Dunbar were filmed discussing the importance of both Coca-Cola advertising and the works of illustrator Norman Rockwell.  Then Mark and I recorded a session discussing the three missing paintings and how people can contact us if they are found.  The team from WGBH was very professional and I would like to offer special thanks to producers Adam Monahan and Sarah Elliot for their guidance, and Bob Birkett and Charlie Collias, the camera and sound guys for making us look and sound good!

The program will air in 2012 and we will make sure to let you the date once it is set.

Mark Ted and Adam Film Crew Mark and ted

September 08, 2010

New Painting For Collection

New PaintingWe recently acquired an oil painting by Charles Archibald MacLellan for the Archives collection.  When I saw photos of the painting, I thought it was the image from the 1928 deck of cards and tray.  However, when the painting arrived yesterday and I was able to get a good look at it to compare it to the other image, it is obvious that while the same pose is used for both, the works are different.  Our advertising department and agency would frequently commission artwork featuring a pose and would select what they felt was the best.  Readers of the blog may remember the Rockwell painting we acquired last year that was never used for an ad.

I think I like the painting more than the art that was eventually chosen.  It has a warmer feel to it.


June 15, 2010

Boy Scouts of America

088617-hi While the Boy Scouts of America were founded in 1910 and are celebrating a century of "Being Prepared" this year, they were not officially incorporated until President Woodrow Wilson signed their incorporation papers on this date in 1916. 

The Coca-Cola Company and the Boy Scouts have been partners for decades and we have quite a bit of Scout material in our Archives including artwork, Jamboree material and numerous ads from Boys Life magazine.  Many of our local bottlers were also partners for their local Boy Scout Troops.  We recently acquired several calendars featuring Boy Scout artwork by artist Norman Rockwell which advertised for bottlers across the country.  The image to the right is from the 1946 calendar produced for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Enid, Oklahoma.  If you look closely, one can note the first Scout Law printed at the bottom of the page.  Each month had additional Scouting information printed.  A calendar like this in good condition with all the pages are generally worth $ 400 to $ 500.

We have too many images to post to the blog, so I have created a facebook photo album with more photos of the Scout calendars. 

February 03, 2010

Happy Birthday Norman Rockwell!

Today, February 3rd, is Norman Rockwell's birthday.  I posted a few weeks ago about the new painting by Rockwell that we had acquired, but I wanted to take the occasion of his birthday to spread the word that we are still looking for three of his paintings used for Coca-Cola ads in the 1920s and 1930s.  We periodically spread the word about the missing artwork, so let us know if you have ever seen any of these three, and Happy Birthday Norman!

  ARS01006-lo W0563-lo W3047-lo

January 21, 2010

New Acquisition for the Collection - Norman Rockwell Painting

1937 Rockwell Painting I am proud to announce that we have acquired a new painting for our collection. The painting to the right was done by Norman Rockwell as a proposed ad for Coca-Cola in 1937.  When Coca-Cola did not accept the artwork, Rockwell used the same basic concept for a cover for This Week Magazine on July 19, 1937 and later as a study for a Brown and Bigelow calendar in 1939. 

As this work was only a study, it does not have the same level of detail as his other works, however, I feel that this more impressionistic style is a very interesting example of Rockwell's work.  We are coordinating with the team at the World of Coca-Cola to find an area to display the new painting and will let you know when the display opens.