Anatomy of a Cover

The Saturday Evening Post hosted Norman Rockwell for dozens of years. It was also the primary “gallery” for other renown illustrators, including Stevan Dohanos, whose cover is under scrutiny today. Most of the Post covers were elaborate gags about aspects of the middle-class way of life. This one is something of a political statement as you will see.

The 1948 cover

The 1948 cover takes place somewhere in Connecticut - perhaps Westport.

Norman Rockwell

In case you missed the set-up. Here's a close-up of the point of impact. This could be trucker's rage against the ruling class machine or a marketing strategy.

Norman Rockwell

This could also be the first salvo in civil unrest. Water is a weapon of choice for many revolutionaries.

Norman Rockwell

Whether revolution or marketing or revolutionary marketing, it was bound to fail. The middle class objects to being manipulated into buying unwanted services, health insurance or taxing the wealthy one percent.

If anything, this indignity will force a backlash. I wouldn't be surprised if these victims of clear water crime took this driver and his overseers to the cleaners.

Norman Rockwell

Nonetheless, do you see what I see? Through these peering eyes, mischief, not irony, is afoot. The truck represents the "trickster" or joker, whose job in life is to upset the entrenched (or rain soaked) powers. Power to the cleaners.

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