Eyewitness

Rockwell provides a look at a now-famous image

The Star

File photo

Originally published Sept. 13, 1951

Norman Rockwell (right) shows his charcoal sketch for “The Kansas City Spirit,” demonstrating the city’s spirit after the devastating floods of July 1951, at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Hotel Muehlebach. According to hallmarkartcollection.com, Rockwell contacted Hallmark founder Joyce Hall to offer support after the floods, and Hall asked if Rockwell could depict the city’s rebuilding in a painting.

The central figure of the sketch is shown rolling up his shirt sleeves, with plans and tools in his free hand. Corn, wheat, livestock and Kansas City buildings are in the background. At left is the chamber president, Joseph C. Williams. Seated is Franklin D. Murphy, chancellor of the University of Kansas. The painting is on display at the Hallmark Visitors Center in Crown Center.

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