Soda Jerk

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894 - 1953)

1953. Oil on canvas, 36 x 34". 1974.038.004

Norman Rockwell, who studied at the Art Students League in New York City, painted from photographs and always referred to himself as an illustrator rather than an artist. When this painting appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post for August 22, 1953, the magazine asked, “If there were no carbonated water, whatever would young people do with themselves?” The inspiration for the painting was the artist’s son Tom, who worked as a soda jerk one summer. Rockwell was without peer in capturing a comforting vision of American innocence, tolerance, and security.

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