| Norman Rockwell was born in 1894 in on the
upper west side of Manhattan. His career began with
illustrations for children's books and magazines, but during
the 1920s his covers for popular periodicals like The
Saturday Evening Post had made him one of the country's
best known artists. By 1935, when the Heritage Press
commissioned him to do the artwork for their deluxe editions
of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, he was widely
beloved for his depictions of what a World Book
encylopedia article calls "the people who live in everybody's
home town," barefoot boys in particular.
For each MT novel Rockwell created 8 oil
paintings which were tipped in as full-page illustrations,
and a set of charcoal drawings used as chapter headings.
Below are two of his Tom Saywer illustrations.
His representation of the fence Tom manages to have
whitewashed, COMPARED WITH THE ACTUAL
FENCE, shows that for this picture, at least,
Rockwell used a photograph to create an impression of
realism. But as a whole his paintings emerge from the same
psychology of nostalgia as Twain's text: "Injun Joe" remains
invisible; only a total of three adults appear in them; work,
and even a whipping, seem like child's play.