Rockwell Images to "Be Prepared" for Boy Scouts 100th Anniversary

Norman Rockwell, Boy Scouts of America, Joseph Castari
Beyond the Easel, self-portrait by Norman Rockwell with Boy Scouts for the 1969 Boy Scouts of America calendar. On February 8, 2010 the Boy Scouts of America will celebrate their 100th anniversary.
WASHINGTON, DC — American illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was sometimes referred to as “Mr. Scouting” for his long association with the Boy Scouts of America. It all began one day in the fall of 1912, when 18-year-old art student Rockwell walked into the offices of Boy's Life (the Boy Scouts' magazine) looking for work, thus beginning a 60-year relationship between them.

On February 8, 2010 the Boy Scouts of America will celebrate their 100th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, artist Joseph Csatari and his son Jeff have compiled Norman Rockwell’s Boy Scouts of America, a book including 50 of Rockwell’s oil paintings and 37 of Csatari’s illustrations.

Every year but two from 1925 through 1976, Norman Rockwell did a painting for the annual Boy Scout calendar published by Brown & Bigelow. For eight years, Csatari worked with his mentor Norman Rockwell before taking over as the official artist of the Boy Scouts of America (after Rockwell retired in 1976).

"Joe has taken the rich tradition started by Norman Rockwell and made it his own," said Bob Mazzuca, chief executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "Rockwell’s illustrations gave you a snapshot in time — you wanted to be part of the images he created. Csatari’s work (also) makes you feel like you are part of the picture."

Most of Csatari's Boy Scout paintings hang in the National Scouting Museum in Irvington, Texas, alongside Rockwell’s 50 Scout paintings. In celebration of the 100th anniversary, one of Csatari’s paintings will be unveiled at a gala event Feb. 9 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Csatari says he owes it all to Rockwell, who insisted that his protégé call him Norman."He was laid back and he was just a very kind and gentle person," Csatari said. "You did not know you were with celebrity when you were with him."

In 1939 Rockwell was honored with the highest award given by the Boy Scouts of America, the Silver Buffalo, presented before an audience of 3,000 people at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.



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