American Originals: Norman Rockwell & Coca-Cola is the newest exhibit on display in our Pop Culture Gallery now through May 2014. The exhibit features examples of Rockwell’s Coca-Cola work from original paintings to final marketing pieces, including the three Company-commissioned paintings that Coca-Cola now holds and marketing pieces based on the Company’s three missing Rockwell paintings.
From 1928 to 1935, The Coca-Cola Company commissioned Norman Rockwell to create six oil paintings that were developed into a variety of finished marketing pieces. Of those six original paintings, only three are in the Company’s hands today and are now on display at the World of Coca-Cola for the first time. The three original artworks – “Barefoot Boy,” “Out Fishin’” and “Concert on the Steps” – are accompanied by other Rockwell calendars, advertising materials and works that were not used in Coca-Cola advertising.
The other three original paintings, “The Old Oaken Bucket,” “Wholesome Refreshment” and “Office Boy – 4 p.m. – The Pause That Refreshes,” are currently missing from The Coca-Cola Company’s collection. They may be privately owned, or may have been lost over the years. The exhibit displays marketing materials from more than 80 years ago that are based on the original paintings – the only evidence the Company has of the three lost works of art.
Norman Rockwell (1894 –1978) is one of the best-loved artists of the 20th century. His illustrations were featured on hundreds of magazine covers and in print ads during a career that spanned over 60 years. Rockwell’s gift – beyond his obvious talent with the brush – was his ability to tell stories by capturing the essence of simple moments that resonate deeply with people from all walks of life.