Working on the Statue of Liberty

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Working on the Statue of Liberty
(Statue of Liberty)
Artist Norman Rockwell
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions54.61 cm× 43.02 cm(2112 in× 161516 in)
Location White House

Working on the Statue of Liberty, also known as Statue of Liberty, is a 1946 oil painting by American illustrator Norman Rockwell, showing workmen cleaning the torch held aloft by the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. [1]

Oil painting process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil

Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. The choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are also visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired. The paints themselves also develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a varnish prized for its body and gloss.

Norman Rockwell American painter

Norman Percevel Rockwell was an American author, painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over nearly five decades. Among the best-known of Rockwell's works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, Saying Grace, and the Four Freedoms series. He is also noted for his 64-year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), during which he produced covers for their publication Boys' Life, calendars, and other illustrations. These works include popular images that reflect the Scout Oath and Scout Law such as The Scoutmaster, A Scout is Reverent and A Guiding Hand, among many others.

Statue of Liberty Colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor

The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York, in the United States. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.



The painting was created for the cover of an edition of The Saturday Evening Post , published on 6 July 1946, [2] from sketches that Rockwell made in March 1946. It depicts the cleaning of the amber-coloured glass of the torch, an operation undertaken annually each July. [3] Rockwell focuses on just a small part of the Statue of Liberty – the torch, a 42 feet (13 m) long arm, and part of the head of the colossal statue, silhouetted against a clear summer blue. Five workmen are attached to the statue by ropes, including one who is a caricature of Rockwell himself, and one African-American in a red shirt. The inclusion of a non-white figure working with whites, apparently only noticed in 2011, [3] contravened a Saturday Evening Post policy of only showing people of ethnicity in subservient roles. [4]

<i>The Saturday Evening Post</i>

The Saturday Evening Post is an American magazine, currently published six times a year. It was published weekly under this title from 1897 until 1963, then every two weeks until 1969. From the 1920s to the 1960s, it was one of the most widely circulated and influential magazines for the American middle class, with fiction, non-fiction, cartoons and features that reached millions of homes every week. The magazine declined in readership through the 1960s, and in 1969 The Saturday Evening Post folded for two years before being revived as a quarterly publication with an emphasis on medical articles in 1971.

Display in the Oval Office

The painting came into the possession of Steven Spielberg, who donated it to the permanent art collection of the White House in 1994. It was displayed in the Oval Office during the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, sometimes to the left of the President's desk, above a cabinet or table on which was displayed Frederic Remington's sculpture The Bronco Buster . [5] [2] It was later moved by Obama to a position next to the fireplace, above a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. [6] [4] In January 2017, shortly after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the painting was still in the Oval Office. [7] It was reportedly removed later in 2017, in favor of a portrait of Andrew Jackson. [8]

Steven Spielberg American film director & screenwriter

Steven Allan Spielberg is an American filmmaker. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era and one of the most popular directors and producers in film history.

White House Official residence and workplace of the President of the United States

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.

Oval Office office of the U.S. President

The Oval Office is, since 1909, the working office space of the President of the United States, located in the West Wing of the White House, Washington, D.C.

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  1. "Statue of Liberty". Digital Library, White House Historical Association.
  2. 1 2 Ray, Heather (9 January 2010). "Obama's Rockwell". The Saturday Evening Post .
  3. 1 2 Petrick, Jane Allen (October 22, 2013). Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People In Norman Rockwell's America. Informed Decisions Publishing. ISBN   978-0989260114.
  4. 1 2 Rockwell, Abigail (21 November 2016). "Who Moved The Norman Rockwell Painting In The Oval Office?". The Huffington Post .
  5. "Norman Rockwell, Welcome Guest in The White House". Norman Rockwell Museum .
  6. Jones, Jonathan (23 November 2016). "Norman Rockwell's Statue of Liberty can point Trump towards decency". The Guardian .
  7. Voon, Claire (January 24, 2017). "In Oval Office Rehang, Trump Continues to Copy Others". Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  8. Alexander, Harriet (August 23, 2017). "Donald Trump's Oval Office renovation leads Washington on a game of spot the difference". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved April 7, 2018.