The Gossips by
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Prompted By Gossip

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The prolific American artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell painted The Gossips in 1948 and like innumerable of his works it graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

As was his habit,  Rockwell used his friends and neighbors as his models,  and in The Gossips he even included himself  – that’s the artist with his ubiquitous pipe in the top right corner.

And notice the first and last image of the female gossiper.  It seems the juicy tidbit she shared has come full circle.

So beware of the gossip you spread my friends,   what you say may come back to haunt you!

RetroFlash / 100 Words

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. John Shutkin says:

    Great RetroFlash as always, Dana. I was unaware of this Rockwell painting, but it is perfect for this prompt. I particularly love that the first gossiper is also the last one. Indeed, had I known about this painting, I would definitely have added it to the gossip songs from musicals I included with my own story.

    • Thanx John.
      To see more of his works I hope you get to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. The permanent collection is great as are the periodic exhibits.

      One memorable exhibit was pairing Norman Rockwell and the seemingly very different artist and illustrator Andy Warhol. The parallels between the two shown in the exhibit and discussed by the docent were eye-opening!

  2. Suzy says:

    Like John, I was unaware of this Rockwell painting, but I love it! How perfectly it shows gossip getting passed from one person to the next. In case anyone didn’t notice that the second person in each pair is the first one in the next, he includes a woman in a bright green scarf who is impossible to miss. And of course the gossip coming full circle at the end speaks volumes. Thanks for this terrific RetroFlash!

  3. Marian says:

    Thank you for the introduction to this painting, Dana. I hadn’t seen it before. A great, painterly illustration of “what goes around comes around.”

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    This is great, Dana! A perfect illustration of the prompt! And the lady in the middle with the phone looks like the Lily Tomlin character from Laugh-In. One-Ringy-Dingy. And boy, was she a gossip!

  5. Perfectly wonderful . . . thanks, D!

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    Great RetroFlash, Dana. I totally agree with you.

  7. Great choice of artifacts to gossip about, Dana. To add further gossip, cleverly disguised as analysis, there’s not a single person of color or ethnicity in the whole batch! Certainly a sign of the Rockwell era.

    • Yes Charles, a sign of the era indeed and of Rockwell’s homogenous New England town.
      But in later years the artist’s horizons widened and he captured the civil rights struggle.

      Google Rockwell’s civil rights paintings, and I’ll email you some images as well!

  8. Yes, he was, in a way, an eminent political artist with a gigantic audience!

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