One of the ways in which we are trying to teach our children about art is by buying old calendars – usually in January bookstores and mall kiosks have calendars that didn’t get sold at Christmas for sale at a huge discount. I usually find our house calendar in the same way – last year it was an awesome Mucha collection while this year we have a new Beatles photo to look forward to each month. Disappointingly, despite the Mucha find, not many art calendars seem to be available. I don’t think this is because they all sold out – I imagine they just are not big sellers. In kiosks and stores dedicated exclusively to calendars I found very few featuring artists, while there are seemingly hundreds with dogs, horses and other themes. One art calendar I did find was this Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post collection. This week we are going over Bottom Of The Sixth from April 23, 1949 (see below).
You can read an analysis of the painting here. The painting shows umpires deciding whether or not to delay or call a baseball game due to rain. There is a hint of sun above the third ump’s head, so there is a chance the game could continue. What I find interesting is that the title (and the scoreboard reflects this) has the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, meaning that if the game is called then Pittsburgh would win, since a game is official after five innings. Yet Rockwell has the Brooklyn manager pointing to the sky with glee, implying that a rainout would benefit the Dodgers. The Pirates skipper, whose team would win in a rainout, looks upset. Did Rockwell make a mistake in having the game in the sixth inning? Or is Brooklyn’s manager pointing to the sun coming out? I favor the former idea, since the rain dominates and the manager looks gleeful.