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The Gossips 1948
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)

I look at my neighbors' faces and I drool. Rembrandt would have gone wild with joy at them. They are a dying race. --Norman Rockwell

The Gossips cover was the most popular Rockwell Post cover in thirty-three years and sold the most magazines in five years. Rockwell had the idea for it twenty years earlier but he couldn't quite get the ending until he thought to have the subject of the gossips (posed for by Rockwell) hear the story about himself at the end of the circle. Thousands of letters were sent to the Post asking what the gossip was they were passing along. An answer was never given. In an interview in December of 1948, Rockwell remembered that the woman who posed for the first lady in the picture, the one who had started the gossip, was still a little peeved at him. Not all of his subjects were critical. One model told a reporter, "It's more fun posing for him than going to the movies. Norman keeps you in stitches with his funny stories."

Oil on canvas
Painting for The Saturday Evening Post cover, March 6, 1948
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