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Label, Judy Goffman, Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania
Label, American Illustrators Gallery, New York

According to Jeff Csatari in Norman Rockwell’s Boy Scouts of America, “Norman Rockwell was known as the Boy Illustrator. After all, he was just 17 when he illustrated his first book, Tell Me Why Stories, for children, just 18 years old when the Boy Scouts of America hired him in 1912 to do illustrations for the Boys’ Life magazine, and its handbooks.” …

“In the fall of 1912, the gangly 18-year-old Rockwell, with portfolio in hand, climbed the steps to the Manhattan office of the Boy Scouts of America and showed his illustrations to Boys’ Life editor Edward Cave. The editor was impressed and gave Rockwell his first paid assignment: choose three incidents from a story by Stanley Snow and illustrate them in charcoal. Not long after that day, Cave asked Rockwell to make pen-and-ink drawings for a handbook on camping called The Boy Scout’s Hike Book. Cave was so pleased with his work, he hired Rockwell as the magazine’s chief illustrator and first art director, a position that paid a salary of fifty dollars per month. Rockwell produced in excess of 200 illustrations for Boys’ Life.…”

“In 1916, Rockwell left Boys’ Life to embark on a freelance career and set his sights on the Saturday Evening Post, the weekly magazine that was known for its famous cover artists, such as J. C. Leyendecker, Howard Chandler Christy, and N. C. Wyeth.

“But in 1925, an idea by Brown & Bigelow, one of the nation’s largest calendar publishers based in St. Paul, Minnesota, rekindled Rockwell’s association with the Boy Scouts of America. The idea was to produce a series of calendars depicting the country’s fastest growing youth organization, one that would appeal to every boy in the country and to their fathers and mothers.… These calendars were sponsored by banks, department stores, car dealerships, oil companies, pharmacies, realtors, and service stations, which gave them away to customers.… The Brown & Bigelow Scout calendars became the best-selling calendars in the nation and introduced Norman Rockwell and Boy Scouting to millions of Americans.” …

“Brown & Bigelow saw the tremendous potential of teaming the country’s premier calendar maker with America’s top artist and the number one boys organization, so it needed a plan to accommodate the two-year timeframe to properly develop the calendar and have the sales force to market it. Rockwell would complete the Scout painting two years in advance of the calendar date. The same painting, then, would be used as the cover of the February issue of Boys’ Life.”

A Scout is Loyal appeared in 1942, when Americans’ loyalty was tested following the United States’ involvement in World War II . It is one of only a handful of Rockwell’s Scout paintings in private hands.

John Cushman, Los Angeles, California

Boys’ Life magazine (Boy Scouts of America, February 1942), front cover, illustrated
Calendar (Brown & Bigelow, 1942), illustrated
William Hillcourt, Norman Rockwell’s World of Scouting (New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1977), page 148, illustrated
Laurie Norton Moffatt, Norman Rockwell A Definitive Catalogue Volume I (Stockbridge, Massachusetts: The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, 1986), plate A62, page 276, illustrated

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