Artists Reimagine Norman Rockwell’s Boy Scouts

Norman Rockwell is best known for illustrating covers of The Saturday Evening Post, but the celebrated American illustrator launched his commercial-art career by designing for the Boy Scouts of America, including covers for the youth organization’s monthly magazine, Boys’ Life, where Rockwell landed a job as art editor at the tender age of 19. During his long and productive career, Rockwell steadily delivered illustrations that have since defined 20th-century Americana, yet many would agree that his work rarely reflects the true breadth of our nation’s diversity — something that’s always been present and, as such, should define the real America — not just the nostalgia-steeped, white-bread variety. 

With that in mind, LA’s Subliminal Projects is hosting a month-long group exhibition: Good Intentions: Re-Imagining Rockwell’s Boy Scouts, curated by Andrew Pogany and Ben Lee Ritchie Handler. Just in time for the Fourth of July, the show updates Rockwell’s work to reflect our nation’s current values, which have both evolved and become more visible since the artist’s own lifetime (1894-1978). And in the spirit of benevolence, proceeds from the exhibition go towards the nonprofit organization Free Arts for Abused Children, which aims to bring art programs to LA-area kids who need them the most. Check out some of the show’s Rockwell-inspired artwork below.

Boy Scouts
Eric Yahnker, “Liberace, You Sneaky S.O.B. #3 (A Scout Is Reverent),” 2013 (copyright of the artist)