Saturday Evening Post cover August 20, 1955.
During his student years, Rockwell sometimes escaped to a Provincetown, Massachusetts, seaside resort for rest and to sketch outdoors. The idea for Mermaid formed from memories of these early experiences An 81-year-old Gloucester lobsterman posed for the painting, but, imagining the turmoil that might ensue if a neighbor were to pose nude, Rockwell hired a professional model from New York for the mermaid. For the fish, Rockwell purchased a 12-pound pollack from the Berkshire Fish Company. He photographed it and then gave it to John Malumphy, who served it in his restaurant for two days.