An American Icon

Norman Rockwell, Father's Day "Socks" by Interwoven advertisement, 1935

Beloved American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell presented the world with all-American scenes, often depicting the seemingly mundane aspects of the American nuclear family. He had a 47-year long association with The Saturday Evening Post as well as a long-standing connection with the Boy Scouts of America, whose annual calendar he decorated for many years. One of the hallmarks of his oeuvre was his respectful and humorous approach to his subject matter. The present work, a study for a 1935 Interwoven Father's Day socks advertisement, shows us a father disciplining his son for some unknown offense, a scene which was presumably quite relatable to most fathers given the more favorable attitude toward corporal punishment at the time. It is a dynamic tableau, complete with the word “socks” perfectly placed between the father and son’s stockinged feet. Rockwell’s preoccupation with small-town, normal America and his contributions to the WWII propaganda effort would lead him to achieve icon status in American culture.