Thursday 6 October 2016

Going and Coming: A Trip to Lake Bennington

Going and Coming, painted  by Norman Rockwell in 1947, features a family in a car on its way to Lake Bennington in Washington state.  It was published in The Saturday Evening Post on August 30, 1947.

The top picture, the Going one, shows a row boat named Skippy strapped to the roof.  A banner is attached to the side of the car announcing Lake Bennington.  The father drives with a fresh cigar in his mouth.  The mother looks straight ahead, her little girl perched on her lap.  One boy, his torso out the window, looks eager to get there.  The dog, his tongue hanging out, is squeezed between the boy and the window.  An older girl also looks out the window, a bubble gum bubble emerging from her mouth.  The other boy, in the back seat, with the same shirt on as his brother, appears to be his twin.  He is plugging his nose as if the father has just run over a skunk.  Beside him sits the grandmother, her eyes straight ahead, unmoved by her grandchildren's excitement.

The going picture tells a different story.  This time, we see the umbrella on the roof alongside the rowboat.  The father is leaning now over the steering wheel, his cigar nothing but a stub.  MOther is asleep in the passenger seat, just like the little girl.  Grandma looks exactly the same but her grandson, no longer plugging his nose, is drifting off to sleep.  His brother, in the middle seat, is still curious about passersby along with his sister, who is still blowing bubbles, and the dog, whose tongue is hanging out so much he looks overheated.  

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