Crosby House Museum to Unveil Norman Rockwell Painting of Bing Crosby During Free Open Day | Straight from the source
From Gonzaga University:
The association of two American classics like Bing Crosby and Norman Rockwell is so natural that it is no wonder Spokane’s famous son has been rendered multiple times by the illustrator and painter best known for his work Finished for the “Saturday night post” magazine for almost five decades.
One of these Rockwell pieces by Bing is set to take up permanent residence at the Bing Crosby House Museum at Gonzaga University, and it will be unveiled on Sunday, October 19. 16, at 2:30h. Doors open at 2 and the museum will be open on the day of the inauguration until 3:30 p.m..
The painting was originally commissioned in 194seven by the California Peach Association for use in its Canned Cling Peaches advertisements. While Rockwell rose to fame with his 323 “Saturday night post” blankets, and also created many original piecesing the social issues of American culture during his career, he has also worked for many commercial companies hoping to tap into his all-American style.
He becomes little more all-American than Bing Crosby, and the painting unveiled to Gonzaga is based on a promotional photograph from 1949 Musical “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. Crosby stars alongside Rhonda Fleming in the film based on a novel by Mark Twain in which a mechanic hits his head in 1912 and wakes up in 6e Century England.
Trailside Galleries in Jackson Hole, Wyoming owned the piece for 25 years and donated it to Gonzaga University in February 2020. Due to COVID, it was kept in the University Archives and Collection Vault special until October 2022. This is the first public viewing of this Rockwell gem.
The Advocates for Bing Crosby Host an Open House free for the public for the unveiling, and a short program at 212:30 p.m. will include remarks from Paul Bracke, Dean of Library Services, and Paul Manoguerradirector of the Jundt Art Museum. The first 75 participants will receive a special offer “Bingsday” buttons, a replica of the buttons distributed for the original Bingsday in 1946 when Spokane Major Arthur Meehan presented them to the citizens of Spokane to celebrate Crosby’s return to the radio airwaves after several months of absence.
The Bing Crosby House Museum is located at 408 E. Sharp on the Gonzaga campus.