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Norman Rockwell Museum

Monday, December 6, 2010

Found on Film

Welcome to the new blog of the Norman Rockwell Museum Archives! You can follow my posts (CorryK) for short contextual discussions regarding our latest archival aquisitions, items of recent discovery, and interesting documents retrieved during the process of research. Below is the text of my first post, Found on Film.


In 1971, a public relations firm in the service of the McDonald's restaurant chain, successfully recruited Norman Rockwell to produce a cover illustration for the corporation's annual report. Often, representatives of the entities who commissioned Rockwell's work would personally visit with him when a piece was completed. For many, an exclusive meeting with the celebrity artist was an exciting and unique opportunity. In some cases, these guests had renown of their own. Such was the case of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's, who called on Rockwell in 1971 to collect the illustration commissioned by his company. Rockwell's studio photographer was on hand to document the occasion.

Ray Croc with Norman Rockwell, Stockbridge, MA, 1971. Photo by Louie Lamone. Norman Rockwell Studio Negative Collection, Norman Rockwell Museum. Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing Company, Niles, IL.

The Museum's three photos of Rockwell and Croc were recently identified in a large collection of the artist's studio negatives. They are among numerous others in the Archives which feature Rockwell and notable individuals such as John Wayne, Colonel Harland Sanders, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Frank Sinatra. For staff of the Museum, it gives us pause to come across pictures like these, as there is something remarkable about seemingly disparate historical figures immortalized together in a photographic image. Could either Croc or Rockwell have foreseen one another's long-lasting impact on American culture?

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