“Rosie the Riveter” is the name of a female character that came to symbolize the real women who filled America’s factories, munitions plants, and shipyards during World War II. In later years, Rosie also became an iconic American image in the fight to broaden women’s rights. Rosie appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post; painted by Norman Rockwell. The Post was then one of the nation’s most popular magazines, with a circulation of about 3 million copies each week.
Rockwell’s illustration features a brawny woman taking her lunch break with a rivet gun on her lap and beneath her Penny loafer a copy of Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf. Her lunch pail reads “Rosie”; viewers quickly recognized this to be “Rosie the Riveter” from the familiar song. The Post’s cover image proved hugely popular, and the magazine loaned it to the U.S. Treasury Department for the duration of the war, for use in war bond drives.
Here are the details of framing an original issue of The Saturday Evening Post; May 29, 1943. Featuring “Rosie the Riveter”
Since Rosie is truly an American icon. An icon demands to be artistically framed. The customer wanted the piece to be substantial but not overly done or large. We felt the best way to showcase the magazine and preserve the integrity of the piece would be to see the entire magazine.
The magazine is first floated on a dark blue mat. The top mat is raised and set away from the magazine in order to show it in its entirety. A gold fillet was added to the top mat to integrate the gold of the frame. We hand-painted the top mat with watercolors to extend the flag image from the magazine’s cover. All finished off with an American style gold frame that has rope knot detailing.
September 1943, the Magazine War Guide was asking magazine publishers to participate in a “Women at Work Cover Promotion.” They needed women to work in all kinds of jobs, not just those in munitions plants or military-related factory work. Everyday “civilian jobs” were vital, too. The slogan for this promotion was: “The More Women at Work the Sooner We Win.” The Saturday Evening Post once again asked for Norman Rockwell to create a cover. For this cover, Rockwell created “Rosie to the Rescue”; a portrayal of an American ‘liberty girl’ dressed in patriotic clothes cast as a ‘jack-of-all-trades’composite, capable of doing any number of civilian jobs – nurse, mechanic, telephone operator, milkman, farmer, etc. to help the War effort.
The customer wanted this piece to work as a set with the “Rosie the Riveter” magazine but not be matching pair exactly. In order to incorporate the two magazines we used the same American style gold frame and hand-painted a mat as well. This magazine was floated on a dark green mat. The top mat was set back from the magazine to show the entirety as we did with Rosie the Riveter.
We hand-painted the top mat with watercolors to resemble an American quilt.