Saturday in the museum with Norman

Image: Norman Rockwell, Elect Casey (1958)

We take a break from our series on still life painting to post something that captures the moment we are living through. In this case the exhaustion of an election and its aftermath.

Norman Rockwell’s original version of Elect Casey was intended to run as the Saturday Evening Post cover the weekend before the election, but then it was pushed back. Rockwell’s study for the picture is of a deflated candidate at the end of the campaign. For the published version he has modified it to be the candidate after finding out he lost, as noted by the tally at his feet.

Rockwell enlisted a local Massachusetts legislator, Bernard “Dick” Casey, to sit for the painting. Intended to capture the toll the campaign took on the candidate, it seems to capture the country’s feeling at this moment after five days of waiting.


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