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One day in the fall of 1912, a talented 18-year-old art student named Norman Rockwell walked into the offices of Boy's Life looking for work. When he left, he had his first commission to do a magazine illustration and had begun a relationship with the Boy Scouts of America that would last for more than 60 years. Rockwell became the visual spokesman for Scouting, bringing its spirit and ideals to life through hundreds of now-classic paintings.
When the gangly Rockwell tried to join the Navy to fight in World War I, in 1917, he was at first rejected for being 17 pounds underweight. He later made it in with the help of a Navy doctor who waived a rule for him, but then found himself doing "morale" work at a base in Charleston, S.C., preparing art for the camp newspaper and painting and sketching officers and sailors. He was given a special early discharge from the navy after painting a portrait of his commanding officer. Throughout his life, he remained deeply patriotic, and he frequently used heroic symbols, especially the American flag, to communicate patriotic values to Boy Scouts.
Every year but two from 1925 through 1976, Norman Rockwell did a painting for the annual Boy Scout calendar published by Brown & Bigelow. Each painting presented an image of idealized Scouts in worthy action, and always with meticulously accurate uniforms and equipment. By 1929, the Boy Scout calendar was the most popular in America, and it remained so for many years.
Asked if he might ever run out of subjects for his paintings, Rockwell once said, "The Boy Scouts are simply going to have to devise some new deeds or Brown & Bigelow will be in a stew." Yet the artist always found fresh ways to evoke the virtues of Scouting. In 1939, when he had been painting Scouts for more than 25 years, Rockwell was honored with the highest award given by the Boy Scouts of America, the Silver Buffalo, presented before an audience of 3,000 people at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
In the sixties, Rockwell's focus broadened to include many more minority and foreign Scouts. His calendar paintings for the world jamboree years of 1963 and 1967 both depicted Scouts of various nations joyously united.
"The common places of America are to me the richest subjects in art," he once said. "Boys batting flies on vacant lots; girls playing jacks on front steps; old men plodding home at twilight; all these arouse feelings in me."
Rockwell's illustrations almost defined America in the middle part of the 20th century; they certainly helped define Scouting. His career spanned nearly the whole history of the Boy Scouts to date, encompassing an age during which both America and the Boy Scouts grew immensely, a period, as Rockwell wrote, "when America believed in itself. I was happy to be painting it." The artist died in 1978 at the age of 84. [reference: The Boy Scouts, Robert Peterson] [return to top]
The following are Norman Rockwell's calendar paintings:
|1925||A Good Scout||Scout bandaging puppies foot with mother dog watching.|
|1963||A Good Sign All Over The World||International Scouts dance to bagpipe in front of globe.|
|1926||A Good Turn||Scout reading to old sailor with puppy.|
|1965||A Great Moment||Mother pins Eagle on Scout with father and Scoutmaster.|
|1946||A Guiding Hand||Boy Scout teaches Cub Scout on box to tie a knot.|
|1943||A Scout is Friendly||Scout in patrol 7 helps elderly couple with small boy.|
|1941||A Scout Is Helpful||Scout carrying girl wrapped in quilt in flood.|
|1942||A Scout Is Loyal||Scout with hat in front of Bill of Rights, presidents & Eagle.|
|1932||A Scout is Loyal||George Washington points way for Scout in front of clouds.|
|1954||A Scout Is Reverent||Explorer and Scout sitting in pew in front of Cub Scout.|
|1940||A Scout Is Reverent||Scout kneels in church pew next to elderly man.|
|1947||All Together||Scout with pack pulling another Scout with dog up onto rock.|
|1938||America Builds for Tomorrow||Scout shows 2 Cubs & Den Mother how to build bird house.|
|1971||America's Manpower Begins With Boypower||2 Cubs hold Scout emblem in front of Scouts and leaders.|
|1933||An Army of Friendship||Smiling international Scouts in campaign hats salute.|
|1969||Beyond The Easel||Rockwell painting with Scouts watching.|
|1967||Breakthrough For Freedom||International Scouts link arms in front of flags.|
|1972||Can't Wait||Small boy saluting in large uniform with Cub uniform on chair.|
|1934||Carry On||Outdoorsman points way for hiking Senior Scout with dog.|
|1970||Come And Get It||Scout tastes cooking near Scouts & leader along lake at Camp.|
|1960||Ever Onward [50th anniversary]||1910 Scout and 1960 Cub and Scout hold scroll of Scout oath.|
|1951||Forward America||Explorer, Cub, Scout, Air Scout, and Sea Scout in profile.|
|1949||Friend in Need||Cub Scout holds dog as Scout bandages paw near tree.|
|1973||From Concord To Tranquility||Scouts and astronaut salute in front of flag.|
|1927||Good Friends [A Scout is Kind]||Scout feeding puppies with mother dog watching.|
|1935||Good Scout [or A Good Scout]||Scout with campaign hat feeds dog in wood pen.|
|1966||Growth of a Leader||Cub, Scout, Explorer and Scoutmaster profile in front of flag.|
|1957||High Adventure||Explorers with packs in front of Tooth of Time at Philmont.|
|1961||Homecoming||Scout with pack and duffel is checked by father, family & dog.|
|1945||I Will Do My Best||Scout pledges in front of wall with oath inscribed.|
|1948||Men of Tomorrow||Cub Scout watches as Scouts portage canoe.|
|1958||Mighty Proud||Older brother on knees with family straighten uniform on Scout.|
|1953||On My Honor||Explorer and Scout pledge with Cub Scout in front of oath.|
|1950||Our Heritage||Scout & Cub Scout with book in front of Washington praying.|
|1962||Pointing The Way||Scoutmaster points way to 3 Scouts as 4th approaches.|
|1931||Scout Memories||Dan Beard in Daniel Boone outfit telling story to seated Scout.|
|1937||Scout of Many Trails||Sea Scout and Boy Scout look at globe with old sailor.|
|1968||Scouting Is Outing||Scout pour out of building and go down street with dog.|
|1975||So Much Concern||Scouts in red berets with crutch planting trees.|
|1929||Spirit of America||Scout profile with campaign hat & red neckerchief & US heros.|
|1952||The Adventure Trail||First class Scout shows 2 Cub Scouts arrowhead near tree.|
|1936||The Campfire Story||Leader shows 2 Scouts & dog Indian headdress.|
|1955||The Right Way||Star Scout shows two Cub Scouts how to build bird house.|
|1939||The Scouting Trail||Cub, Scout, Sea Scout, historic mural and Scouting Trail scroll.|
|1956||The Scoutmaster||Scoutmaster tends fire as Scouts sleep in their tents under stars.|
|1976||The Spirit of 1976||Cub, Explorers, Scout and leader with drums, fife and flag.|
|1964||To Keep Myself Physically Strong||Cub standing on chair measuring brothers chest size with dog.|
|1959||Tomorrow's Leader||Scout holds compass in front of Scout emblem & merit badges|
|1974||We Thank Thee, O' Lord||Scouts seated under dining fly pray as cook watches.|
|1944||We, Too, Have A Job To Do||First Class Scout in campaign hand salutes in front of flag.|
Some other well known Rockwell paintings are:
|Boy Scout "War Service" poster.||"Boost Boy Scout Week, June 8th to 14th" & smiling Scout.|
|June 1914 Boy's Life cover||Daniel Boone|
|May 1915 Boy's Life cover||"Don" a boy sitting holding a book.|
|August 1915 Boy's Life cover||Boy diving into water, only trunks and legs show with splash.|
|1918 Red Cross Magazine illustration||Scoutmaster leading Scout campfire.|
|The Daily Good Turn||The "Unknow Scout" with William D. Boyce on street in city.|
|July 1919 Boy's Life cover||Scout with campaign hat|
|1935 Jamboree Poster||Scout with stave in front of Capitol promoting Jamboree|
|July 1935 Boy's Life cover||Scout with stave in front of Capitol promoting Jamboree.|
|1960 Handbook Cover [50th anniversary]||Scout waves while hiking with handbook in hand.|
Joseph Csatari joined the staff of the BSA National Council in 1953 as a layout artist in the Supply Division's advertising department. By 1960's, he was art director, designing advertising and sales promotional pieces, cover illustrations, and posters.
In 1973, he was named art director of Boys' Life magazine. Also, during this time he had begun working closely with Norman Rockwell as the famed illustrator created his annual Boy Scout calendar painting.
Csatari's job was to come up with possible themes for the paintings and make rough sketches for Rockwell. Once Rockwell decided on a concept, Csatari would gather models and shuttle them up for a photo shoot in the artist's studio in Stockbridge, Mass.
During the time Rockwell was working on his last two BSA paintings, Csatari often traveled to Stockbridge to assist the aging artist.
"He'd let me paint the boots or some other minor part of the painting," Csatari says. "That was the thrill of my life-even though I know he went back over what I had done."
In 1976 when Rockwell retired from the calendar commission, the BSA asked Csatari to continue in the Rockwell tradition.
"My work may be reminiscent of the Rockwell style," Csatari says, "but I'm no Rockwell. Norman was in another league. He was a great storyteller and humorist, a kind of pictorial Mark Twain."
Since the 1977 BSA calendar, Csatari has made 24 paintings for the Boy Scouts of America, including a painting commemorating the endowment program's 1910 Society. In 1997 an exhibit of these paintings toured the United States at fund-raising events in local councils throughout the country.
Though it's not well known, Csatari also painted more than
10 official portraits of BSA presidents and Chief Scout Executives
during his career. But it's his paintings of "Boy Scouts
being Boy Scouts, having fun in the outdoors, and doing community
service projects" that he finds most rewarding. [reference:
Joseph Csatari's Scouting paintings include:[return to top]
|1975||1976 Handbook Cover|
|2005||75th Anniversary of Cub Scouting|
|1992||A Good Turn|
|1994||A Scout is Reverent|
|1987||A Winter Camping Scene|
|2004||Dreams Become A Reality|
|1978||Eagle Service Project|
|1991||Florida Sea Base|
|2000||Happy 90th Birthday|
|1985||It's A Boys' Life|
|2000||Out of the Past, Into The Future|
|1995||Pass It On|
|2003||Prepared To Do A Good Turn|
|1990||Scouting For All Seasons|
|1977||Scouting Through The Years|
|1985||Spirit Lives On|
|1976||The New Spirit|
|1981||The Patrol Leader|
|1983||The Strength Of Scouting Through Volunteers|
|1997||Urban Good Turn|
|1988||You Can Do It|
|1986||Values That Last A Lifetime|
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