About the Artwork

Painting for Ladies' Home Journal story illustration, published July 1929.

Checkers, originally painted in 1928, illustrates a story by Courtney Riley Cooper about a circus clown named Pokey Joe who feels he's no longer funny. His circus pals decide to lift his spirits and renew his confidence by letting him win a high-stakes game of checkers-the only thing he really cares about. The subject of circus characters is fertile ground for Rockwell to create dimensional characters in exotic costumes. The drama and flair of the circus world are expressed through the richness of his colors and in a painterly style found most often in Rockwell's earlier work of the 1920s and 1930s. It is a true illustration in the sense that it describes the text of a story and adds to our enjoyment and appreciation of the story through its visual richness. Circus life and performers are favored themes in Rockwell's repertoire; his childhood experience of going to the circus and his experience of being around performers at the Metropolitan Opera during his art student days are fondly recalled through these images.

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About Our Products


Norman Rockwell Museum Custom Prints is your exclusive source for custom reproductions authorized and available for purchase directly from the Norman Rockwell Museum. All items that are offered are produced using gallery-quality materials and the color is managed in a manner that produces a reproduction as true to the original as modern technology will allow.


Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. We offer all 321 of the iconic works Rockwell created as Saturday Evening Post covers, including many other classic illustrations from his archive.


You have found the work that speaks to you. Now what? Using our innovative custom framing tool, you can preview exactly what your finished and framed art will look like. We offer many different moulding styles so there is sure to be a match for any type of decor.