Friday 14 October 2016

Before the Shot

"Norman couldn't help but being nice to people, especially children." (Dr. Donald Campbell)

If you lived in the same neighbourhood as Norman Rockwell, there was a good chance that you would end up on one of the 321 covers he painted for The Saturday Evening Post.  The painter lived across the street from a doctor named Donald Campbell.  In 1958, Rockwell asked the doctor to pose for his latest painting, Before the Shot.  He recruited the boy from the Runaway to act as the patient.  As the doctor prepares the shot, the little boy stands bent over, his pants slightly pulled down, examining the doctor's credentials hanging on the wall.

Children are often the subject of Rockwell's paintings.  "Norman couldn't help but being nice to people, especially children," explained Dr. Campbell.  The doctor relayed the incident of his daughter, Betsy, being chased on her bike by a dog.  She fell off her bike and sat on the ground, crying.  It was Rockwell who found her, scooped her up and carried her home.  Then he proceeded to draw a series of sketches with Betsy and the errant dog.  The last caption read:  "See. The nice little dog only wanted to play with you."

Before the Shot circa 1958 courtesy 

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