“Waiting for the Editor” is a very important painting by Rockwell due to its exceptional quality and unusually large size. This piece is about twice that of most of the artist’s work. Norman Rockwell knew full well he would be judged against his peers in the future so he made sure that this painting and its story represented his finest work.
Norman Rockwell is well known for story telling in his pictures. “Waiting for the Editor” tells a brilliant story through this oil-on-canvas painting. At first glance the viewer sees two men – one young, one old – each with his portfolio seemingly waiting for the same art editor. Their portfolios contain their best work ready to be judged: the new guard versus tried and true ideals.
Take a closer look, however, and you will find that the young man is actually a self-portrait of a young Norman Rockwell and the other older gentleman is J.C. Leyendecker who designed the covers of the Saturday Evening Post prior to Rockwell. Shadowed by Michelangelo’s “Last Judgement” in the background, the artist imagines himself being judged along with Leyendecker who virtually invented the idea of modern magazine cover design. History as shown that both men, ultimately, made major contributions to the art of a very popular magazine – the Saturday Evening Post. Please call me if you would like to learn more about this fantastic painting.