Norman Rockwell might have been thinking of his boyhood summer vacations in upstate New York as he captured a simple joy of country life in No Swimming. Rockwell was branded as a kid illustrator during the early years of his career, which were dominated by his association with Boys' Life magazine and then another children’s magazine, St. Nicholas. He perfected documenting life from the point of view of boys and girls in genre paintings such as this one, capturing slices-of-life just as a camera might have. But such images, just a click away for photographers, were a challenge for artists. Before Rockwell began using photography to aid his painting process, his models had to hold their poses for lengthy stretches, sometimes with limbs propped up by stacks of books or held with ropes and pulleys. Rockwell kept a pile of nickels on a table next to his easel. “Every twenty-five minutes," he recorded, “I’d transfer five of the nickels to the other side of the table, saying, ‘Now that’s your pile.' ”

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  • Title: No Swimming
  • Creator Lifespan: Feb. 3,1894 - Nov. 8, 1978
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Stockbridge, MA
  • Creator Birth Place: New York City
  • Date Created: 1921
  • Physical Dimensions: w558.8 x h635 mm (Without frame)
  • Illustrator: Norman Rockwell
  • Credit Line: No Swimming, Norman Rockwell, 1921Oil on canvas Painting for The Saturday Evening Post cover, June 4 1921 25.25 x 22.25" Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust, 1973.15
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust
  • Medium: Oil paint, paint, coating on canvas

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