This morning I was invited to the unveiling of the latest piece added to the Norman Rockwell Museum’s collection. I had never been to any unveiling of any sort before and was excited to see the piece and of course, see the Museum again. Upon arrival and some introductions, I took a seat in front of the painting of two kids sitting on a bowed bench with their backs to me while they stared at the moon. The only character looking back at me was a small beagle pup with his long ears and big brown eyes. That’s when I heard a little back story.
“Boy and Girl Gazing at the Moon (Puppy Love)” was painted by Rockwell in 1926 for a cover of The Saturday Evening Post. The piece was owned by a man from North Carolina who bought the painting in 1975 when he was 26. It was donated to the museum by the owner, Mr. Millis, who has cherished the painting the entirety of his ownership, all forty years, and proudly displayed it in his home. That’s when I started to daydream and get a little nostalgic. I thought: Puppy Love has seen four children grow up, forty years of Thanksgivings, Holidays, birthday parties, tears, love, and all of the emotion Rockwell has ever painted. It may have seen broken bones and broken hearts. It has been on the wall of Mr. Millis’ home listening to music change with time, news reports on all sorts of topics, wether accounts across the country and all of the noise lived in forty years from day to day. Sunrises, sunsets, time passing. I gave myself the goosebumps and got a little choked up.
This piece is much more than a recent acquisition to the Museum. Puppy Love is home with the rest of its brood. The painting will see many more walks of life. The young, little beagle will watch as countless others pass by, point, stare, swoon. The only constant is the couple always looking at the moon, together. Puppy Love reminds us to hold on to those closest and to cherish the smallest moments because all we truly have is each other.
Most days you can find Michelle Murphy, BVB Communications Associate, on the road visiting Members. Her visits help to keep the BVB staff updated on what’s new and offer’s Members a chance to share images and information through our various social media channels. Site visits usually last about 30-45 minutes and it is a great opportunity to educate the BVB staff so that they can inspire visitors to come and see you as well! To schedule a visit from Michelle, please email at [email protected] or call 413.743.4500, ext. 133.