"Readying for First Date, Post Cover"   Lot no. 4734

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By George Hughes (1907-1990)

24.5" x 18.5", Framed 32.5 x 37
Oil on Board
Signed Lower Left



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A mother helps her son put on a tie in preparation for a formal party. Original cover for The Saturday Evening Post, October 16, 1948. George Hughes used his neighbors, the Rockwells, as models. The young man is Thomas Rockwell, the son of famed Norman Rockwell, and the mother is modeled after Thomas' actual mother and Norman's then-wife, Mary Rockwell. The scene is situated in Thomas' bedroom in Arlington, Vermont.

The full description written by the Post's editors reads: "It's that suspenseful occasion when a young man puts on his first Tuxedo to go out to a formal party -- or more commonly, first puts on his father's Tuxedo or one borrowed from an older brother. Looking around for models, it occurred to Artist George Hughes that some of his neighbors would serve excellently. The boy getting ready to dazzle them at the dinner dance, if he doesn't forget and wear moccasins, is Tommy Rockwell, son of Artist Norman Rockwell. The woman essaying the puzzling job of tying somebody else's tie is Tommy's mother. That is Tommy's room, in Arlington, Vermont, and Hughes was much impressed--he thought it remarkably tidy, as boys' rooms go. Temporarily tidy, at least, and you can't ask more than that."

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A native New Yorker, George Hughes studied at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. Some of his early work included fashion drawing, and there was a stint as a special designer in the automobile field in Detroit.

   For many years, Hughes was one of the most prolific painters of Saturday Evening Post covers; in addition, he painted many editorial illustrations for the Post and other publications, including McCall’s, Woman’s Day, American Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and Cosmopolitan magazines.

   Hughes was one of the originators and masters of the “sitcom” magazine cover, and through his efforts, readers would spend minutes rather than seconds looking at the covers.

   Also a painter, he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Detroit Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In recent years he restricted his work to portraiture.